Managing medications can be one of the most challenging tasks for aging adults and their caregivers. It is a complex process and oftentimes medications and quantities change. It is critical that older adults take only medications prescribed, exactly as prescribed and to have confirmation from their physician and pharmacist that there will not be potentially dangerous drug interactions and complications. Yuma Senior Living has resources to help residents manage these medication needs.
Medication management is especially important for patients with multiple health care diseases and illnesses. Taking numerous medications is known as polypharmacy and is particularly common among older adults due to the prevalence of multiple medical issues. In order to avoid possible medication complications, follow the tips below.
1. Gather all medications, vitamins, OTC meds and supplements into one location
For example, some older adults might keep certain pills in the kitchen, some on their bedside table, and others in the medicine cabinet. A good habit is to gather everything and store in one place.
2. Presort pills into daily reminder boxes or other types of dispensers
For those taking multiple types of medications, there are containers organized by the day of the week. Having the days of the week labeled allows you to put the pills you need to take each day in the container so that they are all in one place and you don’t forget to take one. If you do forget, you will notice right away.
3. See your doctor regularly and maintain an up-to-date medication list
To prevent negative drug interactions, it’s essential to know exactly what medications you are taking and how they work with others.
4. Know if you need to take food or liquids with certain medications
Usually, medications require you to take them on a full stomach; however, this is not always true. When taking multiple medications, you should be sure of what you need to eat or drink prior to or after taking the medication.
5. Watch for side effects
This is especially important when you start to take a new medication or change your medication routine. Pay close attention to any signs of dizziness, loss of sleep, feeling weakness, upset stomach, or pain. Let your doctor know right away if you feel ill after taking any medications.
6. Dispose of old drugs
Medications have expiration dates. Play close attention to these because taking expired medication can cause serious side effect. Dispose of these drugs and consult your doctor about getting a refill prescription if it is still necessary.
At Yuma Senior Living we offer guidance regarding senior medication prescriptions, and if you or a loved becomes a resident of our community, we take care of your daily medication management needs. If you are interested in learning more about our community, we encourage you to schedule an in-person visit with us. Simply give us a call at (928) 388-6858, and our Community Ambassador will schedule an onsite tour at your convenience.