Medication management is essential for keeping seniors healthy at home. One study found that more than 25% of seniors between 65 and 69 take at least five medications, and that number goes up dramatically as seniors age over 75. Seniors need to make sure that they are taking their prescription medications according to the directions given by their doctors. And they need to be keeping an eye out for any side effects or potential drug interactions. That’s a lot for seniors to try and keep track of, especially if they have conditions that can affect their memories. Home care services providers can be a big help in keeping track of a senior’s medication but there are things that families can do as well.
Keep A Medication Inventory
Keep a binder with print outs for each medication that your senior parent takes. Print out the doctor’s directions as well as any information you can find about potential drug interactions and other useful information. Keep it next the medications so that it’s within easy reach for you, your parent, or a home care services provider that is working with your parent.
Store Medications Safely
The bathroom cabinet is actually one of the worst places to store medication. The heat and humidity can damage the medication. The best place to store your loved one’s medications is in the kitchen or in another spot that they will visit every day. Some seniors keep a cabinet by the coffee maker or the sink that is dedicated to medications so that they always know where their medications are.
Do A Routine Check of Medications
Sometimes doctors change prescriptions or dosages of the prescriptions that your senior loved one is taking. It’s a good idea to go through your parent’s medications regularly and cross check them with your parent’s medical records to make sure that they are taking the drugs they are supposed to be taking. A home care services provider can also do this for your senior parent on a regular schedule just to be sure that your parent isn’t taking medication they no longer need.
Set A Date For Refills
If your parent needs medication refilled on a regular basis pick one day every week or every month that you go through and call in all of their refills at once. That way you won’t be scrambling to get a refill of a necessary medication at the last minute because it got overlooked. You can also use a calendar app to keep track of when refills are due so that you don’t miss any important medication refills that need to be cleared by the doctor.
Home Care Services can Assist
Keeping track of a senior’s medication can be very confusing for family members. If your senior parent has a home care services provider work with that person to manage your parent’s medication. Having an extra set of eyes checking refill dates, dosages, and medication instructions will help you and your senior parent.