Medication management advice for the elderly

May, 2013

A recent study has provided us with some additional elderly care information with regard to medication management. With over 10% of seniors taking 7 or more medications a day, it is vitally important that your family member knows how to manage their medication properly. From knowing how to store it properly to fully understanding what medications they are taking, and why.

  • Meet with a pharmacist.  For individuals taking four or more medications or for those seeing multiple physicians, a one-on-one meeting with a pharmacist is recommended. These meetings can help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. They can also help prevent unwanted side effects and ensure medications are working properly alone and in combination with other pills.

  • Make a medication list. Keep an updated list of the medications your family member are taking and tell them to keep it with them at all times to help them and others identify potential medication issues. Most hospitals and clinics can provide a new medication list every time your prescriptions change.

  • Use a pill organiser. A weekly pill organiser can help your relative keep track of whether they’ve taken a medication. Keeping the bulk of the medications in their original, labelled container, as opposed to mixing pills from different bottles together, can help also serve to help you stay organised.

  • Follow temperature recommendations. The vast majority of medications should be stored at room temperature, but be sure to observe any refrigeration requirements. Try to keep all medications out of the warm, humid environment that bathrooms provides.

  • Be mindful of expiration dates.  After an expiration date, medication may become less effective. Some efficacy may be retained, but elderly care advice is it’s best to check with a pharmacist to see if their pill will still work for you.

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