Senior Health – Tips for Medicine Management
In our day and age, there are many medical cures for many illnesses. It brings with it, a need for tips for medicine management.
A vast bank of medical knowledge has been developed. That means that if a person has a one ailment, the doctor can prescribe a medication. And if a person has a different ailment, the doctor can prescribe a different medication. Sometimes a single medication can treat two conditions, and at other times a single ailment requires two medications. It does sound a bit discombobulating.
What is medication management? There are more medications available for the consumer. The plus is that we hope more illnesses are cured. For seniors, the minus could be that they have to work hard to keep on top of their mound of medications.
Does that sound far-fetched?
Let’s look at what the studies say.
How Many Seniors Take How Many Medications a Day?
According to MdMag http://www.mdmag.com/conference-coverage/aafp_2010/how-many-pills-do-your-elderly-patients-take-each-day seniors are the consumers of more than a third of all prescription drugs used. On average, seniors take 5 prescription medicines. Moreover, senior patients in nursing homes take 7 prescription medicines. Those are powerful statistics.
How Commonly to Problems Arise with Mistakes in Medicine Taken?
There some medications that are safe to take when a person is younger, but cause complications for a senior user. Doctors do take precautions to avoid “drug-drug interactions”. Yet, for older adults problems from drug interaction can arise. According to Merck Manuals http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/geriatrics/drug-therapy-in-older-adults/drug-related-problems-in-older-adults , these include:
- reduced effectiveness of the drugs
- drugs having an adverse effect
- drug interactions
Let’s look at tips to help manage the medications that we take.
Which Top Tips Can Help with Medication Management?
We have collected some top tips to help you or a loved one stay on top of the medications. Thanks go to psychcentral, http://psychcentral.com/blog/8-simple-ideas-for-remembering-to-take-your-medication/ , familydoctor http://familydoctor.org/how-to-give-your-child-medicine/ , drugs.com http://www.drugs.com/article/taking-your-medicine.html and verywellhealth http://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-manage-your-medication-514511 .
- A self-care ritual. Strictly speaking, we are discussing medications. If it is combined into a ritual you do the same procedure every day. If we are not speaking strictly, let’s add in some self-nurturing at the same time. Make time for a mini-foot spa with fragrant oil in warm water or use a nourishing cream for a face or hand massage. Mmmm. That is combining business with fun at its best!
- Set alarms on your phone, and or alarm clock. If you have a memory-problem, be kind to yourself and reinforce your medication-alarm system with written notes. For instance, 1:00 take medicine X, 2:00 take medicine Y, 8:00 take medicine Z. That takes the angst out of the alarm. “Now, what was that alarm meant to remind me of?”
- If there are no kids around or no adults with cognition issues, you can keep medicine in sight. “In sight, in your mind” – to help you remember to take the pills properly.
Memory Aid Tips
- Use schedule to you advantage. Take medicines at time when you do certain activities. For example, take morning medicines before or after breakfast. Take your mid-day medicines around the time you eat lunch and take evening medicines after dinner. Take certain medicines when you brush your teeth.
- Use post-its, association-to-an-object, calendars to help boost your memory.
Props and Accessories Tips
- Use technology such as apps on your phone. Set timers, reminders and medication minder apps http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/july-2015/try-these-3-apps-to-help-organize-your-medication.aspx.
- Use a pillbox. These can be purchased as weekly or monthly sectioned boxes.
- Look online. There exist: Pill boxes that glow, beep and almost sing and dance to help you remember to take your medicine on time.
Tips for Asking the Right Questions to the Doctor
- If it’s all getting too much, speak to the doctor. As if there is anyway the medication regimen can be simplified. Rather than simply deciding to stop taking any of the medications, ask the doctor. He may be able to provide a combined version of some of the medications.
- Get organized in terms of time. Ask the doctor what instructions mean. If you need to take a medicine 3 times a day, does that mean to take it every 8 hours, for example.
“Another Person” and Me Tips
- Get the family to help. Have a loved one phone or drop by to make sure important medications have been taken.
- Somewhere, you or your loved one should keep a list of all the medications you take. It can be on a sheet of paper or it can be in digital format on your phone. If using a phone, why not take a picture of the medication and its container too. You never know when the pictures will come in useful.
So, let’s save our health by taking medications as they should be taken.
And, these tips for medicine management can save you money too. If you are on top of your medications, you won’t fill prescriptions unnecessarily. Nor will you lose medications and need to replace them. Wishing you good health!
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