6 Life Saving Medication Management Tips
Many older adults who live on their own take one or several medications daily. With numerous pill bottles, capsules and tablets that can appear nearly identical, medication management is an everyday essential for seniors.
Taking the wrong combination or dosage of certain medications can have harmful side effects. In order to avoid a potentially dangerous situation, we recommend following these tips for proper medication management:
- Don’t ever increase the dosage on your own. Perhaps you’re taking a medication and you feel it isn’t working as well as it should, so you decide to take two capsules at once, instead of one capsule as your doctor prescribed. Overdosing poses very serious risks for older adults, especially when taking multiple medications. Always follow your doctor’s advice and if you feel your medication isn’t effective, call your doctor and discuss your dosage.
- Use a pill box to properly separate your medications. You can use a pill box to separate your daily medications. Some pill boxes even have AM and PM separations. Keeping your medications organized makes it easier for you to take them without worrying that you’re mixing up medications, or taking them at the wrong time of day.
- Ask your doctor about any possible drug interactions. When you’re taking multiple medications it’s crucial to be aware of any possible interactions they may have with one another. Pay attention to how you feel after taking your medications. If you feel you’re experiencing side effects that make you feel unwell, discuss it with your doctor immediately.
- Regularly review the list of medications that older adults should use with caution. The American Geriatric Society publishes this list and updates it on a regular basis. This list highlights medications that seniors should avoid or that may pose potential risks. Review your medications with your doctor to ensure that none appear on this list.
- Pay attention to how you feel after taking certain medications, and the side effects. Sometimes it’s not possible to avoid side effects with certain medications. Fortunately and often, the side effects can be manageable. After taking a new medication for the first time, pay close attention to how it makes you feel and make some notes about any side effects you experience. If you feel certain side effects are too severe, speak with your doctor about alternate options immediately.
- If possible, minimize the number of doctors you see and pharmacies you use. We’ve all seen specialists for various health concerns throughout our lives. But for older adults on multiple medications, having one primary care doctor may be the best form of medication management. When the same doctor can coordinate all medical care and corresponding medications, it can help reduce the risk of adverse drug interactions, unpleasant side effects, and is just a safer option overall.
Medication management at UMC at Collingswood
In assisted living communities like Collingswood, medication management services are available with associates who support residents with taking medications, monitoring for any side effects, and coordinating with physicians to make necessary adjustments. If they encounter any issues with their medications, they can be promptly attended to and remedied by our experienced team of medical professionals that are on site 24/7. Our residents appreciate the extra support, and their loved ones have peace of mind knowing that their health is being closely monitored by professionals.
For more information about our assisted living community in Collingswood NJ, or if you have any other questions about medication management, please contact the UMC team today at: http://collingswood.umcommunities.org/contact