Staying on top of your medication and properly managing it is essential to living a healthy and safe life. Older adults are the largest users of prescription medication. However, with their advancing age, they’re also the most vulnerable to experiencing adverse reactions to a medication.
Medication nonadherence is a widely recognized and common issue amongst older adults. Approximately 30 percent of hospital admissions of older adults are drug-related, with more than 11 percent attributed to medication nonadherence. And sadly, most of the time, it’s unintentional and a result of the patient being overwhelmed, not understanding, feeling helpless, confused, and/or concerned with healthcare costs.
Several factors can result in mismanagement of medications, such as pairing your prescription with the wrong food or having too many doctors prescribing medicine resulting in a complex medication schedule. That’s why it’s important to be proactive and to do all that you can to eliminate potential issues. Here are some medication management tips you can follow to help you get started.
Make a List and Track All Medications
Compile an updated list of all your medications and supplements. Then, jot down any pertinent information about each mediation, such as pill size, color, dosage, and when you should take it.
You don’t take all your medication at the same time. Using a weekly pill dispenser that specifies day and morning or night is a great tool to utilize. It can help you from forgetting whether you took your medication or not. In addition, some pharmacies, such as TLCRx, offer pill pack service, which helps with medication alignment. This service separates all your medication based on day and time, so your prescriptions are synchronized. This keeps you from worrying about separating your medication correctly and without error.
Label All Bottles
If you’re tracking your medication on your own, be sure you label all medicine bottles and throw out old bottles. You don’t want to take a chance of taking the wrong medicine because there isn’t a label on the bottle or because it’s old. Keep the original prescription label on the bottle. This way you’ll have it if you need to reference it for directions.
Take Pills At Mealtimes
Remembering to take your pills can also become a problem. It’s common to get busy in the morning or during the day running errands where you forget to take your medication altogether.
If possible, get into the routine of taking your medication with meals. We all have to eat, so this is a daily activity that’s almost the same each day. Taking your pill when you eat will become a habit you don’t even think about.
Errors do happen, but that shouldn’t keep us from doing all that we can to prevent them from happening. If you ever have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or pharmacist. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And ALWAYS follow directions and take your medication as directed. A little diligence and following these medication management tips will help to keep you safe and from having major complications.