As seniors age, they tend to take a greater number of medications and supplements to enhance their health. This can lead to a range of drug interactions and can potentially harm health, so it’s important to talk to a doctor about medication management.
“Medication management is often overlooked,” says Kelly Carroll, Director of Community Relations at YourLife™ of Palm Beach Gardens, offering Independent Living with Supportive Services, Assisted Living and Memory Care in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “Some don’t find it too important or think that it really matters, however, doctors wish that seniors knew the true importance of it. Because medications and supplements can have a wide range of effects on health, it’s important to ensure you’re taking the right medicines, using them wisely and continuing them as needed and prescribed.”
Why Medication Management Is Crucial for Seniors
There are a number of reasons that medication management is important – mainly because of health and safety. Consider some of the following reasons and what doctors wish you knew!
- Drug interactions need to be managed. Doctors work closely with pharmacists to ensure no negative interactions will occur between all your prescribed medications; however, nothing is fail-proof. If you’re questioning, simply ask. Doctors are there to help you and want you to ask questions.
- To ensure medications aren’t compromised. At a visit, doctors will often tell you how to store pills and liquids and how to ensure they are at their utmost effectiveness. While some may breeze past this information, it’s important to note that some medications must be refrigerated or kept at room temperature, far away from heat. This is especially important in the hot summer, as keeping a medication in your car for too long can cause it to lose its power.
- Missed doses – or taking too much – can cause problems. Doctors wish you knew that taking medications as prescribed is crucial. Even if you think you are healed, do not stop taking a medication without talking to your doctor. If you take too much of a pill, there could be a risk of overdose or sickness.
- Certain foods or alcohol can affect medications. Whether your pills need to be taken with food or milk, or have adverse reactions when drinking alcohol, it’s important to be aware of any reactions that can occur. For example, some headache or migraine medications contain caffeine. If you consume too much caffeine it can make you jittery, anxious or even sick. If your doctor gives you specific instructions, or your pharmacists places a warning label on the pill bottle, be sure to pay attention.
If you have any questions about what is safe or unsafe, if there is an easier way to take medications or if you’re questioning side effects, be sure to talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional.
How to Make Medication Management Easier
According to AARP, tracking, sorting and ensuring proper administration of medications can be time consuming and exhausting. Consider some of these ways to make medication management easier.
- Organize a week of pills at a time. AARP states that planning ahead and filling up pill organizers a week at a time can make tracking medications easier. It is often easier for seniors to remember what pills they took and at what time.
- Always keep a medication and supplement list with you. When going to doctor’s visits, it can help to have a written list of what medications you take, how much, when and why you take them. This can help your doctor to determine what medications you may need, what could adversely react with your other pills or what could be causing negative symptoms. It can also be handy if there’s an emergency!
- Use technology. If it’s hard to remember when to take pills, set a reminder or an alarm on your phone. Some pill dispensers have built-in alarms with timers to ensure you don’t take too much and know exactly when medications were taken.
To learn more about medication management or to discover more tips to help you or a loved one manage medications better, contact the team at YourLife™ of Palm Beach Gardens. We would be happy to help you improve your health and make your days easier.
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Offering Independent Living with Supportive Services, Assisted Living and Memory Care, YourLife™ of Palm Beach Gardens was designed specifically with residents in mind. We know your life is shaped by family, friends, hobbies, passions and more, so we’ve created a community where you can enjoy comfort, independence and engagement, all while having the peace of mind of 24-hour support and the freedom to define your own lifestyle. Here, we shape each thing we do around you, from your routines and interests to your choices and preferences, to create an inspiring lifestyle that fits YourLife™ perfectly.
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