Medication management can be tricky, particularly when several different types of medications are involved, but it goes without saying that it is also crucial. Here are a few things that you can do to help make the process easier for yourself or someone that you are caring for.
First, purchase a pill organizer and use it. Organize medications in advance for the next week by day. This way, you will not have to worry if a pill has been missed, because you will be able to check the organizer to make sure. There are many types of organizers available, including talking electronic models, but you probably do not need anything so elaborate. Just purchase a sturdy, plastic model with clearly labeled days of the week, and you should be fine. Dark colored trays with raised edges to prevent pills from falling on the floor are best. You should also store your medicine in places that will remind you to take it, such as on nightstands, in the kitchen, etc. If prescription bottles become hard to read, consider asking for large print labels or purchasing a special magnifying glass called a Medifier.
Going along with the above tip, make a list of all medications, including vitamins and OTC that you take regularly, and keep it updated. Include drug allergies, current medical conditions, and always take a copy with you to doctor visits so that your physician can modify it if necessary. You should also keep a notebook handy to write down any medication related questions that you may have, and bring this notebook with you to doctor’s appointments as well. Do not introduce any new vitamin supplements or home remedies without checking with a doctor first. If possible, use one pharmacy and one physician.
Never take or allow someone else to take any medications that have not been prescribed for you or for them, and never take any expired medicine, regardless of how recently the expiration may have occurred. Also, never split medicine to save money if they are not prescribed that way, and never split any non scored tablets.
Remember, proper medication management saves lives, so always make sure to follow the management strategy that works best for you, and keep your doctor abreast of any changes in reactions to dosage, drug interaction questions, etc. Medication management is one of the most important things that a senior citizen and/or their caregiver can do for optimal health.
Partners in Healthcare’s RN care managers are always ready to help families with medication management from advice to full service management and physician collaboration. Call 407-788-9393 for help with your or your loved one’s medication management.