Medication Management for Seniors — Tips to Help Your Loved One Stay on Top of their Medications
Did you know that seniors use more medicines than any other age group? Did you know that chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis are most common amongst the elderly?
Medications are tools to help manage these conditions and to maximize a person’s health, but they can sometimes come with risky side effects. Being informed about the medications you or a loved one is taking is the best way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of them.
The first step to medication management for elderly adults is knowing that their bodies work differently. They may not be able to absorb medication as efficiently as they did when they were younger. This is often attributed to decreased functionality of the kidneys and liver, two of the most vital organs involved in absorbing and breaking down medications.
Another reason for changes in how medication is absorbed is body weight, as it affects how medication is distributed throughout the body. Elderly people are more susceptible to sensitivity to medications and frequently receive various medications from various prescribers.
Because of this, it is important to inform all prescribers of what you or your loved one is already taking so that they can make sure what they are prescribing will interact with other medications safely. With aging may come memory loss, so be sure that someone close to you knows what medications you are on and when you should be taking them, in case you forget.
Keep a list of all your medications, their purposes, the dosages, the times of day that you take them, and the names of the prescribers.
Be actively involved with your health. Know your conditions and your medications. Stay informed! Knowledge is power. Talk with your doctors regularly and seek support from peers. Support groups can be super helpful in answering your questions and knowing you’re not alone.
Facebook has support group pages for almost any condition you can think of. Be sure to always verify anything you read with a medical professional. Another helpful tip is to use one pharmacy so that the pharmacist can double check for medication interactions. It takes a village!