Older adults are the largest users of prescription and over the counter medications. The changes that occur with aging make people more likely to suffer medication-related problems. Having a process not only for set up, but also for the administration of medications, at home can help prevent the negative consequences of medication non-compliance such as hospital and nursing home admissions.
Here are some tips for safe medication management:
Its important to first gather all medications, supplements and over the counter medications into one location, helping to stay organized.
Then, create and maintain an up-to-date medication list to include the name, frequency, dose, and purpose of each medication.
Determine the best way to organize your pills for your situation. What barriers are there such as memory loss, arthritis in the hands making it difficult to open a machine or bottle, frequently changing doses, impaired memory, etc.
Organize the pills for each days dose
Some options for pill organization include:
Pill box - Can fill once a week, good for those that remember to take their meds.
Automated machines - Give alerts: to take the meds; to the care manager or family member if the dose isn’t taken and when the medications are running low.