Need help managing medications for the seniors in your life? Here at Avanlee Care, our passion is simplifying caregiving for you and your loved ones and helping you stress less and enjoy more quality time together. Below, we’ve gathered our top tips to help you manage medications for seniors.
*Please only make changes to your medication plan with the consultation of your loved one’s primary care physician or medical practitioner.*
Why Medication Management for Seniors Is Important
According to the CDC, about 350,000 people are hospitalized annually due to adverse drug events. Aging adults are more vulnerable to hospitalization because they tend to take a variety of medications, vitamins or supplements, and other treatments each day for various symptoms (taking five or more medications daily is called polypharmacy). Taking different medications can increase the risk of medication confusion or other mixups.
A Place for Mom notes that medication mix-ups can become dangerous and even fatal in some cases. In order to avoid dangerous medication interactions, it’s important to have a clear and defined medication schedule and organization strategy to manage your senior’s medications.
Create a Medication List and Schedule
It’s never too late to get organized and develop a medication plan, especially if you’re getting started with managing medications for a senior.
What to include in your senior’s medication list:
- Each prescription, over-the-counter medication, supplement, and herbal remedy
- Describe each medication’s purpose and symptoms it treats
- Who prescribed each medication
- Frequency and dosage
- Are refills needed?
- Are any medications no longer needed?
Update the list when something new is prescribed, if the medicine is stopped or if the dosage changes. Review your loved one’s medications, so they’re only taking those they need, and make a note of allergies or problems they’ve had with medicines.
Next, get organized with your medication storage.
Store Medication Conveniently and Properly
Keep your loved one’s medication in a cool, dry location (so probably not the bathroom cabinet!) that’s easy to access and out of reach of children and pets. Additionally, keep drug instructions and information nearby.
Use medication organizers like automatic pill dispensers, pill organizers, and medication minders to manage your senior’s medications. Organizers help you monitor medication compliance and verify that your loved one is following their medication schedule. These organizers are also beneficial for those with arthritis, eliminating the need to open difficult lids.
Organize medications based on what will work best for your loved one, and make sure it’s an accessible option for them to follow easily.
Set Up A Medication Reminder and Tracking System
Develop an easy way to manage your senior’s medication adherence. Use a checklist broken down by day and time for your senior to fill out manually, or try a digital alternative like the Avanlee app.
You can track medication adherence, view medications, manage medication schedules, add notes, and much more in the Avanlee app.
There are many things to consider when managing medication for seniors, and this only scratches the surface. However, you can use this guide to get started, and the Avanlee app can help you out as well!