With more than 10,000 prescription drugs available in the U.S., it’s no surprise that so many older adults – approximately one in three – are taking at least five of them each and every day. And family caregivers understand firsthand the difficulty of managing these medications for seniors. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that approximately 55% of prescription medications are being taken incorrectly for a variety of reasons, and the results can be exceedingly harmful.
Lower the risk for mistakes with these tips for medication management for seniors, from one of the best home care agencies in Salem and the surrounding area – New Horizons In-Home Care:
Educate yourself on each medicine. If you’re unsure of the proper dosage, management or side effects of a senior’s medications, ask the health care provider or pharmacist for the following types of information:
• The name of the medication (brand and generic)
• Why the medicine is being recommended
• The length and duration for taking the medication
• The correct dose and time of day to take the medication
• Possible side effects and drug interactions, in addition to how the medicine should be taken (i.e. on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water, etc.)
Additionally, make sure to ask the senior’s health care provider to periodically perform a medication review to verify which medications are still needed and which ones could perhaps be stopped.
Create an updated list of all medicines. Creating a detailed list of all prescribed medicines, OTC medicines, and vitamins and supplements that the older person is taking can be a big help at doctors’ appointments. The list should cover all of the information above, plus:
- The shape, size and color of the med (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 continually
- The date the list was last updated
As a top provider of senior care in Salem and the surrounding areas, we can help carry out these medication management tips for older adults, as well as provide a full range of customized home care services to improve health and quality of life. Contact New Horizons In-Home Care today at 541-687-8851 in Eugene, 541-752-9059 in Corvallis, 503-400-3000 in Salem, or 541-997-8115 in Florence or fill out our online contact form to find out more about how our in-home care services can help your family.