Archive for January, 2013

Stay on Track and Healthy with Better Medication Management

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 by CareNet Inc Admin

Studies show that 55% of seniors do not take their prescription drugs correctly, and the consequences can be dangerous. Knowing more about your senior loved one’s prescriptions can keep medication mistakes to a minimum and allow him or her to receive the maximum benefits of the medications. Take the following steps to improve medication management:

Be in the Know Right from the Start. Before you leave the doctor’s office, be sure to know the following information about your loved one’s prescriptions:

  • The name of the drug
  • What the drug is prescribed for
  • How, when and how long to take the drug
  • Correct dosage
  • Possible side effects and drug interactions

Also, make sure to have your loved one’s doctor periodically conduct a medication review to assess which drugs are still needed and determine which ones could be eliminated.

Keep a Master List of Meds. Having a complete list of all prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements that your loved one takes can be a big help at the doctor’s office. This list should contain all of the information from the list above, as well as:

  • The color and shape of the drug (or a photo of the drug if possible)
  • The prescribing physician’s name and contact information
  • Date the medication was started, and whether or not it should be refilled and taken ongoing
  • Date the list was last updated

If your loved one needs some assistance keeping track of a medication regimen, the caregivers at CareNet are happy to help. Contact us in the Anchorage area for more information about our medication management and other in-home care services.

Medication Management: Overcoming Common Obstacles

Posted on: January 4th, 2013 by CareNet Inc Admin

Has a senior loved one ever said something like, “I feel fine. I don’t think I need that medication any more,” or “I think I took my pill this morning?” Older adults often face some common obstacles when it comes to properly managing their medication. The following tips can help you and your loved one overcome these barriers and get on the path to better health.

Memory Loss: A major issue when it comes to medication adherence among elderly individuals is memory loss. People with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may forget to take their medications or even take multiple doses, having forgotten that they took the medication earlier. Tip: Make taking medication a part of another daily routine, using pill dispensers and/or charts to stay organized.

Difficulty Swallowing Pills: Some older adults have difficulty swallowing, and may attempt to chew or crush pills, causing long-acting medications to be released into the body too quickly. Tip: Talk to the person’s doctor or pharmacist to find out if the medicine is available in a liquid or smaller tablet form that is easier to swallow.

Vision Problems: A senior with impaired vision may find it difficult to read the directions on a pill bottle or distinguish between pills, leading to possible incorrect dosage and use. Tip: Request medication labels in a large print size or purchase a pill bottle magnifier. Electronic devices are also available, such as “talking pill bottles,” which play recorded messages of the instructions on the pill bottle.

Income: Seniors who can’t afford medications may split pills, cut back the dose, or go without for long stretches of time. Tip: Ask the pharmacy about discount programs or if a generic drug or another brand in the same drug class is available at a lower cost.

A professional in-home caregiver can provide gentle medication reminders and can also pick up prescriptions and communicate with physicians about the senior’s medication regimen. Contact CareNet’s expert in-home caregivers in Anchorage for more tips on proper medication management or to find out about our home care services.

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