Most seniors take some type of medication to assist with symptoms of a medical condition or a temporary illness. They can make life better and improve your health and wellness. Yet with this form of treatment comes medication management. This is an important step for helping you or your loved one achieve the best quality of life.
We hope you benefit from the following medication management tips. Yet it’s normal to become a bit forgetful with aging, and that might include sometimes forgetting to take your medication. Daystar provides a safe and secure environment for its residents and can absolutely ensure that your loved one will receive their necessary medication. We have expert staff members who are here to make sure you take your medications as prescribed and gain the full benefit of your medical care plan. And though taking medications might seem like a simple daily task, the ramifications if done wrong can be significant. Allow experts like Daystar’s staff to manage your medications for you or your loved one so you can focus your time and energy on simply just being able to live your life without worrying about these small but critical daily living tasks.
What Is Medication Management?
Medication management may seem simple enough. After all, it’s about making sure you take your medications, right? But there’s a bit more to it. It’s important for medications to be taken correctly, according to the prescription, ensuring you are not mixing the wrong ones and by the correct dosing amount and frequency.
Medications may cause side effects, so part of taking them includes watching out for any reactions. For example, the class of statins for reducing cholesterol is one of the most common medications for older adults. This type of drug may result in the side effect of myopathy, which may be characterized by aching, weak muscles. Also, some medications can contribute to dehydration, especially in older adults.
Further, the medications you're taking should be effective toward the result your physician is trying to achieve. The top reasons for ineffective medications in seniors are low compliance on the part of the patient or underdosing by medical professionals, according to the Merck Manual. These types of problems could be identified and solved through medication management.
Another consideration is that many people take multiple medications, so the regimen needs to be managed. There could be side effects of taking multiple medications, so it’s important for physicians and pharmacists to be aware of all medications and for you to look out for potential side effects. You should also become aware of the side effects or interactions of medications you may be prescribed after a surgery or injury.
All of this is part of medication management, which is basically the organization and oversight of a person’s medications to make sure everything is being handled correctly. And it should be noted that Daystar coordinates with the pharmacy and the doctor for every medication given.
Medication Management Tips
How do you manage medication effectively? Whether you’re a senior managing your own medication or you’re helping your loved one with this job, hopefully, these medication management tips for seniors in Seattle can help:
- Organize Your Medications: How do seniors organize their medications? Many take advantage of a pillbox or dispenser to keep track of medications. This simple tool can make your life much easier by clearly showing which medications need to be taken on which day. By taking time to organize the medications at the beginning of each week, you don’t have to think about management each day. Also, this method easily shows if a pill wasn’t taken for the day, as it will be left in the box. You can choose from different types of organizers to best fit your preferences. For instance, you may want a simple weekly pillbox or a dispenser that automatically dispenses medication at the time you programmed.
- Stick With the Same Pharmacy: If you can, strive to have a designated pharmacy to fill all of your prescriptions. This will help ensure you receive your medications when needed and that your pharmacist has all the needed information on your health and other medications you are taking. Then, they can avoid harmful combinations. Using the same pharmacy will also be helpful and convenient if you’re a caregiver picking up the medications.
- Share Your Medical Information: Similar to the pharmacy, ensure that any doctor you see has all of the relevant medical information necessary. Your doctor should know about any medication or supplement you are taking. Also, be vocal about any side effects you may be experiencing and seek out a solution. It’s also a good idea to periodically review your full list of medications with your doctor to determine whether any changes should be made. And a good tip is to have a current medication list posted on your refrigerator to ensure you aren't forgetting anything.
- Follow Medication Instructions: You or a loved one should review the instructions for each new medication you are prescribed. Make sure you follow the instructions for storing the medication, dosage, timing, and any other pertinent information, such as whether or not to take a drug with food.
- Create a Medicines Guide: If you’re taking multiple medications, it may not be enough to organize them in a pillbox. That’s because some medications need to stay in the refrigerator, and you may need to take your medications at different times of day. This is where a reference guide can help. Write down (or have someone else write down) a simple reference sheet with the basic information. It should guide you on the steps to take each day. For example, it could say “Monday: Take [ ] with food, take [ ] at [ ] o’clock and so on.” This will also provide a handy guide for anyone who may assist you with your medication. Another option is to set reminders through a smartphone, specialty reminder device, or other tech tools.
Medication Management for Seniors in West Seattle
Ensuring you or your loved one takes medications properly is one of the services a retirement community like Daystar Retirement Village can provide. Having this need for support can be one of the signs that it’s the right time to move to assisted living or another type of senior living. We offer med management services by health professionals as part of our range of medical and personal care services. Contact us to see about our range of retirement living options and learn how we can help manage medications among our many services.