If you’re currently on medication, or you’re caring for your loved ones’ medical needs, it is important to be aware of the medication schedule as well as the dos and don’ts of medication. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 300,000 people are hospitalized annually due to drug-related issues, be it negligence or nonchalance.
Older adults are more prone to hospitalization and health concerns concerning medication as they usually take multiple medications, vitamins, and supplements together at once to treat different health conditions. Taking different types of pills regularly may lead to a mix-up at some point in time resulting in overdoses, which are dangerous and sometimes fatal.
Always make it a point to manage your medication properly so you can age well in your senior years! Here are some medication management tips that you can follow.
Why Medication Management Is Necessary
Several factors can result in mismanagement of medications, exposing yourself to higher risks of health problems and issues.
- Pairing medication with wrong food: Certain medications cannot be taken with certain food and drinks, such as alcohol or soft drinks. Consuming carbonated drinks with drugs may cause side effects such as allergies, while food like dairy products may eliminate the benefits of the pill.
- Having too many doctors: Older adults may be prescribed different kinds of medicine when they approach different doctors to target different health conditions. This can be confusing for some, as they wouldn’t remember which drug was taken from which doctor.
Quick and Easy Medication Management Tips
- Store and compartmentalize: If you have too many medications at hand and you often mix them up, it is important to declutter the older medications and arrange the new ones properly so it’s not too messy. Organizing your medications well into different storage spaces or compartments helps with avoiding mix-ups and misuse, and you’ll have it easier when looking for your medications.
- Compile a list: Older adults are advised to have in hand an updated list of medications, supplements, and vitamin tablets along with their functions and dose usage, so they can easily refer to the list whenever they want to read up on their side effects. If you’re the forgetful type, you can also draw up a timetable or schedule so you can plan and allow easier remembrance.
- Always check in with your doctor: If you or your loved one sees multiple doctors and has various medications, it will be helpful to label your medications with your doctor’s name so you know who to seek help from. When unsure about the medication or its side effects, always check in with your doctor if it’s consumable with certain foods or if you can proceed with normal daily activities after consumption. It is better to be safe than sorry, and there’s no better person than your doctor to approach.
- Have a loved one to remind you: Having a caregiver or loved one around may help with your medication management, as they can offer genuine advice or remind you during meal times to eat your medicine. This is especially applicable to seniors who are physically frail and require support, as the presence of a loved one helps to ease your tasks.
While some slip-ups may occur now and then, aim to follow these tips and practice good habits to stay happy!