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Seniors are always at a greater risk of problems resulting from prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and other alternative medicines. The number of drugs seniors take leads to issues such as non-compliance, adverse drug reactions, drug interactions, and misuse of medications.
Seniors are also more susceptible to the undesirable effects of drugs due to the physiological changes introduced in the body. Certain medications are never prescribed to seniors because these are toxic and cause other problems such as nausea, diarrhea, cognitive impairment, dizziness, changes in sleep patterns, breathing issues, rashes, bruises, and bleeding.
Consequently, here are some ways to help seniors manage multiple medications and avoid drug-induced medical problems.
Tips To Manage Multiple Medications
The first thing to enable a senior to manage multiple medications is to ensure that the primary care physician knows what medications they are taking. You can make a list of the medications seniors are taking or bring the bottles to the doctor’s clinic during an appointment.
Ask the physicians to provide written instructions concerning the medications and also the potential side effects. Also, ask the seniors to report the unusual symptoms to their physicians.
Go through all the medications thoroughly to dispose of the ones that are out of date or are not part of the senior’s medication routine.
Implement a prompting system if a senior is not regular with their medications. Set medication reminders for seniors such as calling them or visiting in person or asking a friend or relative to look into if the senior has taken their medication or not.
Keep only one pharmacy to fill all medications so that the medications are easily accessible in times of need. By doing so, the pharmacist can also screen the drug interactions and answer the questions you have. Ask the pharmacist to provide you with the toll-free number to reach out to in times of need.
Ask the seniors if they are comfortable opening and closing the medication containers. If they face difficulty, then prefer having a box that is easier to open and tracks the senior’s medications easily. If they don’t remember to take their medicines on time, then keep their medication box in front of them so that they do not forget to take doses.
Also, ensure that seniors understand each medication like when and how to take it. Try to accompany the senior to the physician’s appointment but if you are unable to do so, then ask the instructions from the physician.
Make sure to tell the seniors to take the right medications at the right time. If they feel so, they can seek outside help to take medications on time. Still, if seniors are not able to manage medications, then the only alternative is to seek outside supportive services.
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