Medication Management Tips for Senior Citizens

Oct 10, 2017

Medication Management Tips for Senior Citizens

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Why is medication management so important to senior citizens’ lives? Did you know that drug overdose is the top leading cause of death for senior citizens? In fact, more than 700,000 emergency room visits are drug-related, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As senior citizens continue to age, they will be consuming more medications for a variety of causes. As a result, it is pertinent that caretakers and physicians help senior citizens learn about various medication management tips to ensure a safe and healthy daily regimen.

What Problems Can Arise from Medication Mismanagement? 

  1. Mixing Drugs: Medication management is vital to your senior citizen’s health because it can help prevent them from mixing their medications and making themselves sick. An important reason why senior citizens should be careful of taking certain drugs together is that of the side effects that it could have on them. Certain drugs are more likely to cause various effects when interacting with other medications. These effects can vary from either strengthen or reduce the effectiveness of the medication. This problem can also derive from ingesting specific food with your senior citizen’s medications or drinking alcoholic beverages.
  2. Drug Addiction and Overdose: Did you know that senior citizens are more likely to become addicted to prescription drugs? This is because the liver is less likely to dispose of the medication, causing the drug to remain in the body for a longer period of time. This causes the senior to feel the euphoric effects of the drug stronger and for longer. For this reason, medication management is important in ensuring that senior citizens are taking the recommended amount of medication. 

8 Medication Management Tips for Senior Citizens 

When it comes to properly managing your senior citizen’s medication intake, it is important that you are organized. Here are some tips on how you can achieve this:

  1. Create a routine for your senior citizen: An important factor of staying organized is to establish a routine for your senior citizen. Doing this will not only help you remember when your senior citizen should take his or her medicine, but this will also create stability in your elder’s life. In addition, creating a routine will also help your senior citizen to remember to take his or her medicine in the case that you are not there to remind them. This is especially important for senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
  2. Set reminders for your senior citizen’s daily medication intake: Similar to creating a routine, it is important that you set reminders for your senior citizen’s medication intake. Doing this will in a sense for them to be in a routine.
  3. Use a daily medication reminder box: If you are concerned about your senior citizen not remembering to take his or her medication, then a daily medication reminder box is what you need. This invention is great for helping both you and your senior citizen to remember when to take what medication on what day. This is also useful for managing your senior citizen’s medication intake.
  4. Monitor your senior citizen’s medication intake: Because senior citizens are prone to drug abuse, it is important that you or a caretaker monitor your senior citizen’s medication intake. Not only will this prevent overdose, but this can also help prevent your elder from mixing his or her medication.
  5. Create an up-to-date list of your senior citizen’s medications: An important aspect of the organization is to create an updated list of your senior citizen’s medications and to discard any expired prescriptions. This is beneficial to ensuring that your elder is taking the proper medication in addition to making it easier for you or your elder to refill prescriptions. An updated list is key to staying organized.
  6. Carry a list of the medications wherever you are: Directly tied to the previous tip, it is beneficial for either you, your elder or your elder’s caretaker to have a list of their medications at all times. This is especially important for when seniors are planning to travel. Doing this will help doctors and pharmacists identify what medications they may need as well as what medical problem they may be having.
  7. Read the label: Before taking medications, it is crucial that your senior citizen is reading the label! Doing this will make them aware of the side effects of the medication. Additionally, this will provide information on the recommended daily dose for your elder.
  8. Store the medications properly: Did you know that the conditions where you store your medications could alter its effectiveness? For this reason, it is important that you learn about the proper way to store your elder’s medications. If you are curious, don’t hesitate to ask your elder’s doctor or pharmacist. 

Have you had trouble with medication management? What is your go-to tip to combat this problem?

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