How to Manage Medications for Seniors—Our Guide
Did you know that adverse drug events cause about 1.3 million emergency department visits, and approximately 350,000 patients need to be hospitalized for further treatment each year? That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)!
Medication intake can be all the more crucial to seniors because older people take a lot of medications, vitamins, and supplements to treat various health conditions. As they become forgetful, a simple mistake can lead to a dangerous situation. Hence, medication management becomes imperative as a preventive measure to avoid potentially serious health hazards.
In this article, we’ll share our practical guide on how to manage the medications of your older loved ones.
1. Review the medications with the doctor
It’s vital to regularly review the medications with your loved one’s doctor to foster health and safety. Be sure to write down all your medications’ names and dosages, including over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements. While you’re at it, discuss when and how frequently they take them. On your loved one’s next appointment, go over the list with the doctor and ensure everything’s safe to take.
2. Always read the medication labels
You must always read the medication labels before intake to ensure that your senior is taking the right drugs and get the correct dosages. Initially, you must learn about the possible drug interactions and their side effects. Keep in mind that this applies to both OTC medications and prescription drugs. Should you have any questions about the medicines and notice some effects on your loved one, contact the doctor or the pharmacist immediately.
3. Be wary of medications unsafe for seniors
There’s a thin line drawn for medications between younger people and older ones. The seniors may be vulnerable to some drugs, which can be particularly unsafe for them. Some medicines may pose a higher risk of side effects, while a few others may be less effective. That said, it’s best to check this list, The Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults, prepared by the American Geriatric Society. This includes the list of medications that older adults must avoid or use with caution. If the medicines for your seniors are included in the list, check with the doctor.
4. Heavily rely on telemedicine service
If you don’t have all the time in the world or you’re away from your loved one to manage medications, it’s wise to consider a telemedicine service. Through this, you can have access to board-certified, experienced doctors via telemedicine. These doctors can provide online medical evaluations in urgent situations, even during critical evening hours and weekends. They can also prescribe and check your loved one’s medications.
Here at Morristown HC, we are dedicated and committed to providing healthcare and rehabilitation services with the utmost care, clinical excellence, genuine passion, and true care. If you need proper medication management for your seniors through telemedicine, we’ve got you covered!
At this point, you now know how to manage medication for seniors. All it takes is to review the medicines with the doctor, read the labels, be wary of drugs unsafe for seniors, monitor the intake for compliance, and rely on telemedicine service. With all these steps, you’ll ensure proper medication management for the benefit of your older loved one.
As a premier nursing center in Morristown, New Jersey, our center is located directly across the street from Morristown Medical Center, which is ideally situated for convenience and immediate care. If you’re looking to take good care of your seniors and ensure proper application of medications, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!