8 TIPS FOR MANAGING MULTIPLE MEDICATIONS IN THE ELDERLY
Aging is an inevitable process, and as the body wears out, there is an unavoidable reduction in the optimal functioning of most organs of the body. This – alongside other problems of old age such as living a sedentary lifestyle, weakened immunity, etc. – eventually results in the development of age-related health conditions in the elderly. Because these medical conditions often occur concurrently, a need then arises for the use of multiple drugs simultaneously. Keeping up with numerous medications can be a daunting and frustrating task indeed. To help you effectively manage your multiple medications, here are eight great tips to try out:
1. CREATE A LIST
It is essential that you have a list containing all the medications your doctor has prescribed. This helps you keep track of all the drugs you ought to be using, alongside the right amount they are required.
2. GET ADEQUATE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR MEDICATIONS
Ensure you get adequate information on each drug prescribed by your doctor. This should include details such as:
- name of the drug,
- drug dosage,
- duration of use,
- Side effects,
- expiry date,
- Interactions with food and other drugs
- Steps to take in the situation of missed pills.
3. STICK TO A PHARMACY
It is in your best interest that you find a pharmacy that you are comfortable with and can stick to. A pharmacist who knows the list of drugs you are on can help you with information such as potential drug interactions and side effects. They could also work with your doctor(s) to discuss potential problems and alternatives to prescribed medication.
4. SET REMINDERS TO TAKE YOUR MEDICATIONS
Because you have a substantial amount of drugs to take, and each drug has its own required timing of usage, there is a high tendency that you might miss out on the schedule. To avoid this, make sure you set the alarm to remind you when it is time to take each drug. A family member, friend, or caregiver should also be made aware of these reminders to improve compliance.
5. GET A PILLBOX
A pillbox would be advantageous to you by ensuring your many drugs are kept safe and in one place. Many pillboxes also organize pills according to the days of the week and the number of medications you have to take each day. Some even automatically dispense pills and have alarm systems that alert the owners. Find a pillbox that you can afford and maximize its features.
6. STORE MEDICATIONS AS INSTRUCTED
Each drug has been designed to be stored in a particular way to protect it from damage. Instructions regarding this can be found on your drug labels; ensure you adhere to them.
7. GET REFILLS EARLY
You want to avoid your pills running out, and you also want to replace expired drugs quickly. Planning for refills weeks or a month ahead will ensure an uninterrupted supply of your much-needed medications. Work with your pharmacist to set up an automatic refill plan to ease this process for you.
8. BE REGULAR WITH YOUR CHECK-UP VISITS
Regular attendance of scheduled visits with the doctor affords you the opportunity to get updates concerning your condition and medication use. You should also discuss your concerns about your medications and review the necessity of continuous usage.
We hope you find these suggestions to be informative and helpful. Remember that Countryside Home Health Care is always available to answer questions and offer health care services that make life that bit more comfortable for you and your loved ones. Contact us through our phone lines or book an appointment with us at your convenience.