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.