With more than 10,000 prescription drugs available in the United States, it’s no wonder that so many seniors – approximately one in three – are taking at least five of them each and every day. And family caregivers know firsthand the difficulty of managing these medications for seniors. In fact, research shows that as many as 55% of prescription medications are being taken incorrectly for a variety of reasons, and the consequences can be extremely dangerous.
Reduce the risk for errors with these medication management tips for seniors, courtesy of one of the best home health agencies in Albuquerque, New Mexico – Harmony Home Health & Hospice:
Educate yourself on each prescription. If you’re not sure of the correct dosage, management or side effects of a senior’s medications, ask the doctor or pharmacist for the following types of details:
- The name of the medicine (brand and generic)
- Why the medication is being prescribed
- The length and duration for taking the drug
- The correct dosage and time of day to take the medication
- Potential side effects and drug interactions, as well as how the med should be taken (i.e. on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water, etc.)
Also, make sure to ask your loved one’s doctor to periodically perform a medication review to confirm which medications are still needed and which ones could possibly be stopped.
Prepare an up-to-date list of all medications. Creating a thorough list of all prescribed medicines, OTC drugs, and vitamins and supplements that the senior is taking can be a big help at doctors’ appointments. This list should cover all of the information above, plus:
- The shape, size and color of the medication (include a picture of the drug if possible)
- The prescribing doctor’s name and phone number
- The date each medication was first taken, and whether or not it should be refilled and taken ongoing
- The date the list was last updated
As one of the top-rated home health agencies in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we can help implement these medication management tips for seniors, as well as provide a full range of customized home health care services to improve health and quality of life. Contact us at 1-877-463-3322 for more information and to find out if our services are available in your area.