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The Importance of Medication Management for Seniors
If you help care for an aging loved one, or are advancing in age yourself, you may have heard of the importance of medication management. As people age, they can develop multiple chronic conditions, which may require several prescription drugs from more than one prescriber. With this situation, there comes an increased risk of drug interactions, side effects, and accidentally missing or doubling doses. Medication management is a set of practices to prevent these things from happening. Here, we provide a guide that features tips and services, as well as an introduction to how your local BrightStar Care agency can help you or your loved one stay safe.
Medication Management Tips
Comprehensive medication management is no small task, and many people decide to hire professional medication management services. However, if you want to try helping a loved one, such as a parent, to manage his or her medicines, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Keep a list of all medications, including doses and dosage times, for records. Download our free medication chart.
- Remember to consider over-the-counter (non-prescribed) medications and nutriceuticals like vitamins, minerals, and herbal remedies when compiling your medication list as these medications may also contribute to side effects and drug interactions.
- Share this list with your parent’s primary care physician and pharmacist. Ask if they see any potential issues.
- Try medication management systems, such as a pill dispenser or pill reminders.
- Store medications properly in a cool, dry place.
- When a new medication is introduced, keep a journal of changes in mood or behavior in order to monitor for potential side effects.
Medication Management Services: When More Help Is Needed
Many families decide that managing medicines without professional help isn’t safe or sustainable. Perhaps your mom has dementia and struggles to remember her medications. Maybe your dad lives miles away, and you can’t be there every day to help. Or perhaps you, as the primary caregiver for your mom or dad, aren’t able to give him or her the full care he or she deserves because you’re already juggling attending to your own household and work.
In these sorts of circumstances, hiring a home care partner to provide medication management to your parent in the comfort of his or her own home may be the safest and most loving decision you can make.
Comprehensive Medication Management from BrightStar Care
With in-home medication management services from BrightStar Care, you may not need to make the transition from the comforts of home to an assisted living community, which can be hard on a family. Depending on your parent’s needs, a BrightStar Care Registered Nurse can come to your home and help administer medications, or a caregiver can simply provide reminders to take them.
The BrightStar Care Approach to Medication Management
BrightStar Care in-home medication management services combine compassionate care with best-practice approaches followed by some of the nation’s most well-respected hospitals. Take an in-depth look at what we offer:
Compassionate, Person-Centered Approach
At BrightStar Care, we treat each client as a person, not a condition. In our hiring process, we screen candidates for experience and compassion and have built a team of empathetic caregivers who are passionate about what they do. We match our caregivers to clients based on personality and preferences. Over time, our caregivers get to know clients and build deep, lasting relationships—some clients even say their caregiver is like a member of the family.
Nurse Supervision on all Client Care Plans
To provide the best possible care, BrightStar Care requires supervision by a Registered Nurse (RN) on each client care plan. On a typical initial visit, one of our nurses will conduct a comprehensive health analysis and risk assessment (including risk of falling) in the home. An RN will continue to visit on an ongoing basis to look for changes in specific conditions as well as overall health.
Accreditation from The Joint Commission
Accreditation by The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit organization, is seen nationwide as a symbol of quality healthcare. BrightStar Care is proud to hold all its franchisees to this standard, which entails a rigorous on-site review by Joint Commission surveyors for patient safety and quality. As a result, we’ve earned The Joint Commission’s prestigious Enterprise Champion for Quality Award four years in a row.
BrightStar Care also incorporates The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals into all of its internal trainings, procedures, and policies. This ensures our teams meet and exceed all goals, including improving the safety of using medications.
How Much Does Medication Management Cost?
You want to provide the best possible care for your loved one, but you also need to consider your financial position. In-home care, like assisted living, is not always covered by Medicare. For instance, in-home care may not be covered by Medicare if it’s 24-hours a day or not part of a doctor-prescribed plan of care, among other reasons. BrightStar Care can help you assess your needs, both in terms of level of care and finances. It’s important to know that opting for in-home care can improve quality of life and reduce your healthcare costs in the long run, as it can help prevent the worsening of medical conditions and delay the need for assisted living.
How to Talk to a Loved One About Getting Help with Medication Management
Even when in-home care is the very best option for your family, having the initial conversation might trigger fears and difficult emotions. If you’re sitting down with your parent or other loved one to talk about seeking professional medication management services, try the following:
- Take a compassionate approach.
Any major life change can bring emotions with it. Approach the conversation gently and help ease your parent’s fears or insecurities.
- Reassure your loved one that you’re in this together.
Tell your mom or dad that together you’ll find a caregiver that he or she is compatible with, and that you’re still very much a part of his or her life.
- Remember that this decision will help the whole family.
Your parent will get the highest level of care, you will be able to focus on other commitments at work and home, and you may save on long-term healthcare costs.
Get Help from BrightStar Care
Call BrightStar Care today at 866-618-7827 to learn more about our in-home care and medication management services* and find a location near you.
*Medication management services are not available at all locations.