As we get older, managing our medications becomes more critical. For seniors, this is especially true. With age comes an increased risk of chronic conditions, often requiring multiple medications to manage effectively. What with all the over-the-counter drugs and supplements, it can definitely be an overwhelming task to keep track of everything. But managing medications is essential for maintaining good health as we age. A vital aspect of senior care is keeping track of your loved one’s medicines and staying on top of the monitoring process, especially if your loved one is taking multiple prescriptions at the same time.
Here at BrightStar Care, we are all about introducing new tips and tricks for you to participate in the care of your loved one. Here are some top tips our professional team of caregivers uses to stay on top of managing medications.
5 Suggestions for Managing Medications Like a Pro
Start and Maintain a Log
By keeping track of all the medication your loved one has taken, you can easily work your way to good medication management. Here is some important information that this log should contain:
- The medicine’s brand and chemical name;
- What the medication looks like;
- The date they started taking the medication;
- The expiration date of the medication;
- What the medicine is for;
- The strength of the medication (typically milligrams);
- The dosage to be taken and when;
- How the dosage should be taken (IE: with food, before bed);
- Possible side effects of the medication;
- Storage instructions;
- Whether or not refills are needed;
- The doctor that prescribed the medication;
- The pharmacy where the prescription is filled.
At the same time, monitoring your loved one's health may be beneficial. Changes in their overall behavior, weight, hunger, sleep patterns, or mood might all indicate a change in health conditions or contraindications. Keeping a medicine log may help medical practitioners to better understand how the medicines are affecting your loved one and how to manage care better.
Monitoring your loved one's health status is also a great way to check in on their overall well-being. If you observe any changes in their behavior, weight, mood, eating habits, or sleeping patterns that seem unusual to you, these may be signs of a developing health problem or a contraindication. Keeping a diary of their medicines might help medical experts better comprehend how these drugs are affecting your family and also give suggestions on how to improve care.
Keep Open Communication with Physicians
In order to keep the physicians who are caring for your elderly loved one up-to-date, it is important to share any important records with them. They can help determine if changes in dosage are necessary for these medications, as well as any potential risks associated with taking them.
Stick to One Pharmacy
It is best to stick to one pharmacy when subscribing to a list of prescription medications. This could help you out in the long run! By tracking your loved one's medication, the pharmacist can help you identify any potential drug interactions that could be harmful.
Utilize Medication Management Aids
There are various ways for senior and family members to ensure that their loved one's medicines are handled safely and responsibly. Handling medication can be a tricky process, but investing in either a pillbox or pill dispenser can help make it easier to keep track of doses. This is especially helpful for those who have to take multiple medications or complex medication regimens. It can be helpful to set an alarm or schedule regular check-in calls with your elderly loved ones to help them remember to take their medications.
Assign a Leader
The primary responsibility of a leader is to be the one point of contact for your loved ones. They can also help you find your way through the healthcare system and any extra senior care that may be necessary. A leader's responsibilities include managing and attending medical appointments, keeping track of records such as prescriptions, and working with your loved one's physicians.
Call BrightStar Care of West Portland Today!
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