NJ Senior Care Blog

Medication Management for Seniors: How Can You Help?

 

Individuals aged 65 and older account for over a third of prescription medication use in the United States, despite comprising only 12 percent of the population. Many seniors are prescribed multiple daily medications to help manage serious health conditions; without their medications, they would need immediate medical attention.


Unfortunately, many seniors have trouble remembering the schedule and dosages for their medications. This leads to taking too much or too little of a medication. Sometimes, it leads to missing an important medication altogether.


Below are 4 ways to make medication management easier.  

 

1. Consult With Your Loved One’s Doctor

Before you formulate a medication reminder plan, talk to your loved one’s team of medical professionals about the specifics of his medications.


  • Write down the preferred times of day and methods for easily taking the medications.
  • Make note of medications that should only be taken with food.
  • Make note of medications that have the potential to cause adverse effects; ask the doctor or pharmacist if there are ways to counteract those effects.

It’s important to remember that older adults metabolize medications differently, so ask the doctor if the dosage should be changed based on your loved one’s particular age.

2. Monitor Your Loved One’s Prescriptions

It’s important to be aware of each medication your loved one has been prescribed. This is because many medications are potentially unsafe for seniors who have certain medical conditions. Additionally, many medications cannot be taken together due to potential adverse effects. Check with a pharmacist for any potential drug interaction dangers.


For seniors who have vision or comprehension issues, it may be difficult for them to understand the potential side effects of their medications. Make note of any side effects they’ve experienced.

3. Invest in Medication Alarms and Organizers


If a senior tends to confuse their medications or forgets to take one or all of their meds each day, consider investing in a medication alarm. Alarms should be placed in areas of the home most often used. For example, an alarm for morning medications might be placed in the bedroom where your loved one gets ready for the day; an alarm for midday meds might be placed in the kitchen where they prepare meals.


A daily pill organizer with AM/PM compartments might also help those who have trouble remembering when medications to take at certain times. Labeling, color coding, and descriptors can help guide them through medications.

4. Hire a Professional Home Care Provider


Unfortunately, for seniors who have cognitive impairments or dementia, medication alarms and pill organizers may often be ineffective. In these situations, a home care professional can remind and help guide your loved one in taking each of their daily medications on the right schedule. This can give you an incredible peace of mind, and help ensure your older loved one stays healthy.


If you’re interested in learning more about New Jersey home care in Mercer and Burlington Counties, contact Visiting Angels today.

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.