Tips for Safe Medication Management for Seniors
Published on October 30, 2020
Older adults often have a plethora of medications that they need to take on a daily basis. Keeping track of all of those medications, taking the right dosage, and maintaining a schedule is something that a lot of seniors struggle to do on their own.
To make matters worse, sometimes medication dosages, types, and schedules can change unexpectedly. This only makes it more difficult for seniors to manage their medications, which can lead to potentially serious problems such as overdoses or mix-ups.
Helping your loved one manage their medications is a daunting task, especially if there are a lot of them to keep track of on a daily basis. The good news is that medication administration and management services in Mississauga such as those offered by V!VA Retirement Communities can ensure that all of your elderly loved one’s medications are up to date.
Why Is Medication Management for Seniors Important?
Medication management for seniors is extremely important because taking the wrong medications at the wrong time can be harmful to their health—sometimes it can even be lethal. Proper medication management reduces the risk of complications caused by mishaps. Once you establish a proper support system, managing multiple medications and sticking to a schedule becomes like second nature.
Medication Management Tips for Seniors
Organize All Medications in One Place
Whether it is a nightstand or medicine cabinet, storing all of the medications in one convenient location makes them easier to find whenever they’re needed. Just be mindful of the various storage instructions of each medication.
Keep a List of Medications
Making a list of all of your medications makes tracking them a lot easier. Update the list every time new medications are added and old ones are removed. A spreadsheet on your computer complete with a schedule, administration instructions, expiry dates, and other important information can also help.
Follow Storage Instructions for All Medications
Make sure you read and understand all of the storage instructions carefully. Some medications may need to be refrigerated, while others need to be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent them from expiring prematurely. Read the label and accompanying information pamphlet for specific storage instructions.
Use Medication Reminder and Tracking Apps
Technologically savvy seniors can benefit greatly from using their mobile devices or tablets to keep track of their medication schedules. Set reminders on your phone of when you need to take each medication. You can also download special apps that track all of your medications for you and remind you when you need to take each one.
Understand Negative Drug Interactions
Negative drug interactions can make seniors seriously ill. Mixing the wrong medications together can also be fatal. This is one of the core reasons that proper medication management is vital. It’s important to read all of the medication dosage and schedule instructions carefully. Also take the time to read through the information pamphlets that come with each medication and make note of which medications interact negatively with one another, so you can space them out appropriately.
If you have any questions about certain medications, make sure to speak to the provider, the prescribing physician, and the pharmacist to get clarification. Don’t take any chances with your own health or the health of your loved one. Medication administration and management services at retirement communities, such as those at V!VA Mississauga, are also a great resource for this type of information.
Understand All Medication Instructions
Refusing or failing to follow medication instructions is referred to as non-adherence. Sometimes, seniors may purposely stop taking their medications due to cost or the misperception that they’re not working (even if they are). Forgetfulness and uncomfortable side effects are also reasons seniors might not take their medications on time or at all.
Medications come with specific instructions for a reason, though. Whether they need to be taken with food, on an empty stomach, or at a certain time of day, these stipulations make certain medications more effective and should be followed.
Keep Track of Refills and Expiration Dates
Expired medication is less effective, and in some cases, it can make you sick. Keeping track of expiration dates and medication refills ensures that seniors are always one step ahead when it comes to taking care of their health.
Pre-Sort Medications for Daily and Weekly Use
Purchase a medication box and pre-sort your medications according to date and time. This will make it easier for seniors to physically see when they need to take each of their medications and makes the process a lot easier.
V!VA Retirement Communities’ Medication Administration and Management in Mississauga
Caring for a senior loved one is a lot of work. It can be a daunting task for a lot of family members, especially when medication management is involved. V!VA Retirement Communities offers exclusive medication-related services in Mississauga to help make things a little easier for family members of older adults. At V!VA Mississauga, our Wellness Team featuring nurses and PSWs provide professional healthcare services.
What makes V!VA different? We are a community that’s built on values. Our Team Members strive to create an environment where our Community Members feel comfortable and safe as they build new friendships and enjoy an active, safe, healthy life.
To learn more about our retirement community in Mississauga and to find out if V!VA is right for you or your loved one, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (905) 566-4500 for more information.