Medications are essential because they help us live longer and healthier lives. The CDC says that 82 percent of American adults take at least one medication and 29 percent take five or more. This is because our bodies change as we grow older. We are no longer as strong as we used to be, and various medications are recommended for better management of our health.
At the Mission at Agua Fria, we know how important medication management is for senior citizens. Skipping prescriptions, overdosing, or mixing certain drugs together could be dangerous and harmful to your health. Here are four medication management tips that will help you as a senior.
1. Follow the Doctor’s Prescriptions
You need to properly understand how a medication is to be used, its name, and its purpose. According to research, seniors who failed to take their prescribed medications have a 76 percent likelihood of experiencing a tangible decline in their overall health than those who took their medication according to prescription. Using the right amount of medication at the specified time ensures that the medications work perfectly in your body, keeping you healthy.
A good rule of thumb for medication management is to listen to your doctor or pharmacist carefully and write down your prescriptions to avoid forgetting or making mistakes. If you’re unable to do this on your own, bring along a friend or family member who can help you.
2. Keep Track of All Current Medications and Dispose of the Old Ones
You should have a written list of all the medications you’re taking. Make sure you write down the names of the drugs and when and how you are supposed to take each one. When the time frame for the use of medication finishes, dispose of any that remain so you don’t mix them up with ones you’re still using. Pay attention to the number of doses remaining, refill information, and expiration dates so that you can replace your medications on time. Proper medication management will save you from unnecessary stress.
3. Safely Store All Medications in One Location.
Have a place where your medications are kept to prevent misplacing and missing your prescriptions. You can ask your doctor about the storage instructions, but if you are someone who easily forgets to use your medications, then keep them where they are visible and easy to access. Avoid placing them where children could easily reach them or in heated areas. Poor medication management could lead to drugs spoiling, which is unsafe for your health.
4. Keep Your Doctor Informed Always
For better medication management, your doctor must be aware of all medications you might be using. Inform your doctor about any drugs used in the past or any you’re using presently so they have a better idea of what to prescribe for you. Some drug combinations are harmful and could lead to drug interactions or cause dangerous side effects. If you experience side effects from certain drugs, make sure you inform your doctor about it immediately.
Knowing the purpose of each medication and ensuring they are used at the right time is very important while caring for an aging loved one. This may require a lot of attention. At the Mission at Agua Fria senior living, we carefully monitor our residents and provide services such as medication management, assistance, and administration. Contact us today and let us do the hard work for you.