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Medication Management Tips for the Elderly

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As seniors get older, they might have to take more medications. Managing their medications effectively ensures seniors take them as scheduled. Medication management also lowers the risk of errors that could cause dangerous side effects or adverse reactions. Seniors and family caregivers should keep the following tips in mind.

Keep an Updated List of All Medications

Some medications can cause harmful interactions when taken together. Seniors should always have an updated list of the medications they are taking to prevent dangerous reactions from happening. The medication list should also include vitamins and supplements older adults take along with the information on how much and how often to take them, since some of these can also interact with medications.

Older adults who have difficulty properly managing medications should consider hiring a professional caregiver. Palm Desert home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Sort Medications Each Week

Having to take the right amount of medication from each separate container or bottle for each dose raises the risk of forgetting to take doses or taking the wrong pill. Seniors should have all medications sorted for the upcoming week to make it easier to take them as scheduled. Caregivers can help seniors find the right medication organizer to use, which depends on how many medications they take and how many times per day.

Schedule Medication Reminders

Seniors can set reminders to take medications at certain times, which might mean writing down a schedule and keeping it on the fridge in plain sight. For tech-savvy seniors, there are apps available on smartphones, tablets, and other devices that can alert them when it’s time to take their medication. Some pharmacies can also call or send text or email reminders when it’s time to refill prescriptions.

Be Familiar with Possible Side Effects and Adverse Reactions

Knowing the signs of side effects or adverse reactions can ensure seniors get prompt medical care if they occur. Family caregivers should be on the alert for the signs of reaction when seniors begin to take a new medication or when there are any changes to the dosage. While some side effects and reactions are mild, others require immediate care.

Helping a loved one manage medication can be challenging. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Palm Desert, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Go Over Medication Instructions

Medications come with their own set of instructions to ensure they’re taken safely and have a lower risk of negative reactions or side effects. For example, some medications should be taken with food, while others work better on an empty stomach. Seniors should read through all medication instructions and talk to their doctors about any concerns or questions they have.

Store Medications in One Place

If possible, seniors should keep all of their medications in a safe area such as a cabinet in the kitchen. Storing all or most medications in one place makes it easier to keep track of them. The exception is any medications that have to be refrigerated.

From medication management to basic household chores, seniors might need help with an array of activities. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Palm Desert, CA, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at (760) 345-0001.