If taking multiple medications is a major source of stress for you and your loved one, you are not alone. Nearly all adults will take some prescription in their lifetime, and most will take more than one on a regular basis. Managing these medications and prescriptions can be difficult if you do not take the time to put a plan in place to track and ensure that they are being taken correctly. Also, taking medications incorrectly can lead to complications or bad outcomes that are totally preventable. Magnolia Place is passionate about making sure our community is aware of medication safety, so here are a few tips on how to track multiple medications safely.
Tracking multiple medications is difficult enough, do not waste time or energy trying to get them from different pharmacies. Pharmacists are very talented at what they do and help tremendously when it comes to managing medications and ensuring that none of the drugs you are taking will negatively interact with each other. By filling all of your medications at one pharmacy, your pharmacist is able to do his or her best work and develop a relationship with you and your doctor to keep you on the right track.
Technology these days is incredible. There are still those daily pill dispensers with each day listed on them that you fill up every Sunday. But consider taking it a step further with a fully automated medication dispenser. There are devices on the market such as Hero that will sort, manage and dispense your medication exactly when you are supposed to take it each day and alert you when it does.
We find that the biggest struggle that seniors have with medication management is forgetting to take their medications at the right times. This can be especially true for loved ones with memory challenges. Consider creating a document that has all their medications listed on it with checkboxes to fill in when they take the medicine. The clearer, the better. If your loved one has advanced Dementia, they should not be in charge of managing their own medication and will need assistance.
We like to call this a “brown bag” review. Gather up every medication that you take on a regular basis, over the counter, and vitamins included! Take these medications to your doctor and have them look over everything to make sure you are taking them correctly and that none of your medications have adverse reactions to each other. Your doctor might also change or adjust your medications based on this review as well.
Nothing is worse than realizing that you only have one pill left of very important medication. You never want to be one dose away from being out of something important, so make sure that you or your loved one fills their prescriptions in a timely manner. This can involve using mail-order pharmacies, auto refills, or setting calendar reminders to get your prescriptions refilled as soon as you can.
Managing multiple prescriptions does not have to be difficult if you put these practices in place. If you are still struggling with this, consider asking your doctor if he or she has any additional advice for you on how to manage medications for you or your loved one. Sometimes doctors can adjust prescriptions to refill on a more convenient schedule, leading to fewer trips to the pharmacy and a decreased chance of running out. There may also be other options as well! The team at Magnolia Place is here to support you when you need us.
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Magnolia Place, contact our friendly team today.