Medication management is a critical part of every caregiver’s job. The wrong medicine taken at the incorrect time could cause severe problems.
According to the Aging Life Care Association, 40% of older people, either at home or in nursing homes, are using at least one inappropriately prescribed medication. This number gets higher for those being discharged from the hospital.
This guide and free printable will provide tips to help keep medication management, well, manageable.
1. Keep an Accurate Record
A list of all the medications being taken, along with when they are to be taken is the first step in medication management. This log should also include the purpose of the medicine, the description of the pill or capsule and any side effects.
2. Don’t Forget Over The Counter Medicine
Over-the-counter medicines may seem perfectly safe, but some may interact with the prescriptions your loved one is taking. This includes vitamins and herbal supplements. Be sure your doctor knows everything that your loved one is taking.
3. Take Advantage of Your Pharmacist
Your Pharmacist is a medical doctor. I suggest you always use the same pharmacy so that the Pharmacist has records of all the prescriptions you take. You can schedule a consultation with the Pharmacist to discuss any interactions the medications may have or for any questions you have about those medicines.
4. Organize Medications
Store all medications, prescription and OTC in one place. This makes it easier to see what you have and what needs to refilling. Be sure to watch for expiration dates.
Store the medicine in a cool, dry place. The bathroom medicine cabinet is not the ideal place to store medicine, contrary to its name. I suggest a basket or bin to keep everything in. If possible, separate the medicines by when they are to be taken to avoid confusion.
5. Pre-Sort Medication for the Week
To make taking the correct medicine easier, use a pill organizer. Fill the organizer weekly for your loved one and be sure to check the pill organizer to ensure that medicine is taken when it is supposed to.
An option is an online service like PillPack, which sends your prescriptions pre-packaged in the correct dosages. The pills come in a package labeled with the contents (including non-prescription supplements) and the time the pack is to be taken. PillPack does not charge extra for the packaging there is no additional charge. Again, check to make sure your loved one is taking the medicine when they’re supposed to.
Medication Management – It’s All About Keeping Your Loved One Safe
Have you or a loved one experienced problems due to incorrect medication management? Please share in the comments.