As a Family Caregiver, you are more than likely familiar with medication management. You understand the importance of your senior loved one taking their prescriptions, but did you also know that there are many other reasons why medication management is a crucial part of their medical care?
For example, it is very important that you speak with your loved one’s physician to eliminate the chances of adverse effects of medication. Many people don’t know that According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are over 700,000 emergency room visits each year that are a result of medication mistakes. With proper medication management, those adverse effects can be prevented.
Manage Medications Effectively
There are many ways you can ensure your loved one does not experience a hospital visit because of problems with their prescriptions. Here are some guidelines:
1. Monitor Expiration Dates-Keep track of expiration dates on prescriptions. Before throwing away the bottles, make note of the medicine’s name, dosage, doctor and pharmacy and double check with their doctor in case a refill is needed.
2. Set Reminders- Give yourself reminders to ensure that refills are done on time. The pharmacy will have record so if you are unsure, it is always okay to call and request more information. Doctors prescribe medications in conjunction with the others a patient is already taking. If there is a change in their prescription list after a doctor has prescribed another medicine, go over the changes with the doctor.
3. Use a Medication List- There are helpful printable forms available online, or you can track them by writing down the name of medication, dosage, doctor and directions. It is also a good idea to have all of loved one’s prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy. This ensures one record is being kept and the prescriptions are being monitored by the pharmacist who can see any potential problems that could occur.
4. Pay Attention- Pay close attention that your loved one is taking prescriptions as directed. There are many directions to follow, including whether or not these medications should be taken on a full or empty stomach, the time of day they need to be taken and how to help with the side effects that some may cause.
Another way to efficiently manage your loved one’s medication is to use a pill box. There are many varieties available at the local drugstore. Some simpler designs break days into morning, noon and evening doses, while more complex systems offer alarms to set reminders. Creating a calendar just for their prescriptions is also a helpful option.
Freudenthal Home Health helps Family Caregivers every day in their journey to provide quality healthcare at home for loved ones by offering medication management services. If you’re anxious about the proper management of your loved one’s medication, contact us to find out how we can help you ease the process and ensure safe management of your loved one’s medications.