Medication Management for Seniors
A recent study found that the average adult over the age of 65 years old takes between two and seven prescription medications every day for various chronic conditions. In addition to prescription medications, many aging adults combine over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or essential vitamins to their daily routine. These various medications allow seniors to effectively manage their symptoms enjoy the highest quality of life, longer.
When it comes to aging adults, managing medications can be one of the most challenging tasks. Polypharmacy, or the use of multiple medications, is a growing concern among the aging adult population today. Although taking certain medications can provide many health benefits, improper medication management can lead to various health complications, like muscle weakness, dizziness, loss of appetite or depression.
6 Tips to Manage Medications Properly
It is important to take prescription and non-prescription medications exactly as described to avoid harming your health. Older adults can sometimes be forgetful when it comes to remembering to take their medications, as well as all the different instructions involved. For instance, which need to be taken with food and which need to be taken on an empty stomach. Additionally, seniors metabolize medications differently from that of a younger individual.
Here are a few ways you can properly manage your medications and stay healthier and happier:
- Set reminders. One of the most common mistakes for seniors when managing their medications is forgetting to take a pill at the correct time. Not remembering to take a prescribed medication can affect how your body functions and make you more susceptible to becoming ill. Setting alarms or writing in your refill dates in a pocket calendar are great ways to ensure you keep your medication on schedule.
- Presort your medication. If you are taking multiple medications, consider buying a weekly container and sorting your pills out by day of the week. Getting into the habit of presorting your pills will help guarantee you don’t forget any medications.
- Understand what medications can be taken together. It is important to make sure your physician explains what medications are safe to take together and prescriptions need to be taken separately to avoid any serious side effects.
- Adjust your dietary habits. Make sure to check with a doctor which medications may need to be taken with food or liquids. Usually, medications will require a full stomach, however that is not always the case. Consult your doctor with every new medication and adjust your meal or medication schedule to accommodate any prescriptions.
- Watch for side effects. Watching for any potential side effects of your medication is especially important when starting a new prescription. Pay close attention for signs of dizziness, feelings of weakness, loss of sleep or appetite, pain or any abnormal symptoms associated with the specific medication. If you are experiencing any side effects, contact a medical professional immediately.
- Schedule frequent doctor appointments. As you age, your health care needs are constantly changing. It is important to schedule frequent appointments with your doctor to address any changes in health, symptoms or increased needs.
Experience Quality Care at Western Home Communities
Western Home Communities offers a variety of senior living care services designed for you. Experience senior living that is tailored to meet your unique needs and a variety of amenities and services to keep you living life fully. To learn more about senior living at Western Home Communities, contact our community today, 319-277-2141.