A recent article published on the Daily Caring website referenced data indicating that 87% of seniors take one prescription drug, 36% take 5 or more, and 38% use over-the-counter medications. That’s why medication management for seniors is such an important topic.
Putting a simple system in place and taking care of the basics helps people, seniors included, to avoid common medication mistakes like taking the wrong drug, missing doses, or taking more than prescribed.
Here are some of the simple suggestions that might help you or your loved-one to better manage medications and avoid common pitfalls:
- Gather all medications, vitamins, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and supplements into one location. If they’re all stored in different locations, it’s easy to lose track.
- Make sure medication is stored properly. For medication that requires specific storage, like refrigeration, follow the doctor or pharmacist’s instructions. Otherwise, in general, medication should be kept in a cool and dry place. That means the bathroom cabinet might not be a good place to keep certain medicines, as moisture and heat can affect drugs. Medications should also be kept safely away from children or pets.
- Create and maintain an up-to-date medication list. To prevent negative drug interactions, it’s essential to know exactly what medications you or your older adult is taking.
- Pre-sort medications for the week. Staying organized is essential to good medication management for anyone. Using a pill organizer allows you to pre-sort medications for the week. The best type of pill organizer is one with enough compartments for every dose needed throughout the day.
- Plan ahead for medication refills. With long-term prescription medications, it’s essential to get refills on time so you or your older adult won’t run out and miss doses.