10 Important Tips for Better Medication Management
Does your loved one have difficulty remembering their medication?
Perhaps you realized that they missed a dose, or you’ve seen some changes that may indicate side effects.
If these sound all too familiar, your loved one can benefit from medication management.
Medication management involves monitoring the prescription and over-the-counter medications your loved one takes. Its purpose is to ensure they’re getting the treatment they need with minimal side effects. Medication management is also important because it is a safeguard against potentially dangerous drug interactions.
At Cedar Cove we have dedicated med techs and nursing assistants who help us monitor and administer medication.
In this article, we’ll explore several useful tips for medication management and discuss why medication management is important.
10 Important Tips for Better Medication Management
1. Be aware of any herbal or over-the-counter medicines
Many people mistakenly believe that if something is “natural” it can’t interact with other medications. Actually, these supplements have the potential to cause serious problems.
You should be aware of all medicines, supplements and over-the-counter products your loved one takes. Check with their doctor to be sure that what your loved one is taking is okay. Why is medication management important? It’s vital to keep your loved one safe.
2. Follow up with the doctor
Your loved one’s physician is an instrumental part of your health care team and should always be consulted if there are any questions. Report any side effects and be sure medications are taken exactly as prescribed.
If the medication isn’t effective, you may wish to speak with the doctor about alternatives.
3. Be sure medication is stored properly
Incorrectly storing your medication can reduce its effectiveness. Be aware if any medicines need to be refrigerated. Remember that storing them in the bathroom medicine cabinet may not be the best location because they will be exposed to moisture.
4. Don’t run out of medication
Don’t wait until your loved one is on the last few pills before getting a refill. It’s vital to keep abreast of how much is left so you can get more in a timely fashion. In certain cases, suddenly stopping medication can have unwanted side effects.
Why is medication management important? It prevents your loved one from running out of medication.
5. Help your loved one fill their pill dispenser
It’s vital to take medication as directed. Are there certain pills that need to be taken in the morning? At bedtime?
Having a well-organized pill dispenser can make a big difference and help your loved one easily follow instructions. Because managing several medications can be challenging, it’s usually a good idea for you to help your loved one fill the dispenser.
6. Understand—and watch for—side effects
The goal of medication management is to ensure that your loved one receives treatment that is both effective with minimal side effects. However, sometimes side effects occur, and they may vary from person to person.
Speak with the doctor or pharmacist to know signs to look for actions to take if your loved one starts exhibiting symptoms.
7. Keep an updated list of all medications
With many seniors managing more than five medications, it’s easy to forget the name or dosage of medications. Therefore, it’s vital to keep track of the latest prescriptions and their strength. Every time you meet with your health care team, you should review this list of medicines to ensure accuracy.
As we mentioned earlier, herbal remedies can also affect medication. So, if your loved one is taking them, be sure to include those as well. This is one reason medication management is important.
8. If possible, stay with one pharmacy
If you stick with one pharmacy, not only is it more convenient, but it helps you keep track of all the medicines. Often, pharmacies will send reminders when it’s time for a refill. This will be much simpler if it is all within one location. It will also help you develop a working relationship with the local pharmacist so you can reach out to them with any questions.
9. Set an alarm or a reminder
We understand. It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of everyday living and forget to take medication. However, with more older adults facing the challenges of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, they can’t afford to skip a dose.
Help your loved one by setting an alarm or reminder for them so they’ll remember to take their medication on schedule.
10. Seek help for safety and peace of mind
Helping your loved one manage their medication can feel all-consuming and overwhelming. And there are dire consequences if the prescriptions aren’t managed correctly.
At Cedar Cove, we take uncertainty out of the equation. Through our medication management services, you can always rest assured that your loved one is getting exactly what they need every day. We’ll also keep a close watch on them and report any side effects that might develop.
When we take control of the medication, you’re able to relax and return to your role as son, daughter or spouse.
Why Is Medication Management Important?
Proper medication management is vital in order to safely get the maximum benefit from prescription medicines. Without careful administration, side effects or drug interactions can become dangerous.
This presents a special challenge if your loved one is on several medications to many different chronic diseases. This isn’t unusual. According to one study by the Centers for Disease Control, around 1 in 5 adults aged 40 to 79 take at least five different medications.
Assisted living communities like Cedar Cove provide extensive medication management services so you know your loved one will always have the prescriptions they need.
At Cedar Cove, We Understand Why Medication Management is Important
We have a dedicated staff that understands the importance of administering medication properly. With certified med techs and nursing assistants, we offer quality, affordable assisted living in Wilmington, NC.
With a compassionate staff of health care professionals, we’ll monitor your loved one 24/7 and be sure that they receive the medication when they need it. We’ll also work closely with their physician and other members of the health care team to ensure they are receiving safe and effective treatment.
Want to know more about how your loved one can call Cedar Cove home? Our spaces fill quickly, so we encourage you to schedule a tour today to get more information.