Managing Medications: Always Best Care’s Pharmaceutical Practices
Managing medications takes a concerted effort by both the patient and the caretakers involved. Whether that is your doctor, pharmacist, or caregiver, it is important to have a relationship that encourages and facilitates the regular and appropriate usage of medication. An article in American Nurse Today determined that “44% of men and 57% of women older than age 65 take five or more medications per week; about 12% of both men and women take 10 or more medications per week.” The amount of medication an individual is taking will make the management of medication that much more difficult – juggling these requires a strict plan that incorporates a schedule, reminders, and consultations to ensure that the patient is receiving the best care possible free of adverse side-effects.
How to Monitor Medications Reliably
The risk of mismanagement is ever-present, especially with those suffering from mental disease. It is imperative that medication is used appropriately, and monitored consistently. A 2005 study published in Pharmacotherapy found that over two-thirds of hospitalized elderly adults had an adverse drug effect over a four-year period. These can be resolved in a hospital setting, but the risk grows substantially outside of the hospital, or in the home. For these reasons, and many more, an effective system for medication management will be specific to the individual, their health, and their medication plan. Alzheimer’s, or other forms of dementia, often make it impossible for the individual to self-manage and take their medication. Professional assistance may be necessary in these situations, and no one matches Always Best Care’s capacity to assist.
When self-management is possible, making use of a reminder system, such as cell-phone alerts, alarms, an a pill box can all assist in the regular and effective usage of medication. Relatives should be involved as well, if possible, to provide an outsider’s perspective on your social and mental health over time. These combined should keep your medical health under control and steady.
Torrance Tips for the South Bay Elderly: Always Best Care Offers Advice to All
First and foremost, it is wise to get another opinion when the number of medications being taken begins to climb. This means speaking to your pharmacist, your doctor, and anyone who you trust that is qualified to give advice on medications – if something does not seem to work, or is losing its efficacy, the best course of action is to seek professional guidance. Second, receiving your medication from a single pharmacy is strongly recommended. By doing so, you will ensure that there is a single team evaluating your medication for consistency, allowing them to make recommendations on the combinations of your medications, when to take them, what to eat or drink, and more. As well, pharmacists may be able to offer generic alternatives to your medication if you are paying out of pocket. If you have Medicare, you are eligible for prescription medication coverage. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to determine if you are eligible to save on your medications.
When you are seeing the doctor, this is your chance to voice any and all concerns related to your medication, health, and well-being. The goal here should be to ensure that your pharmaceuticals are balanced, age-appropriate (dosages change with age), and that the medications are not interacting or counteracting one another. Bring a list of your medications to the doctor, and always keep one on your person should you ever need to go to the hospital. This provision ensures that a doctor is able to take care of you properly, without needing to question whether a drug in your system could cause adverse effects.
At the end of the day, enlisting a trusted home care organization with professional caregivers is your safest option when medication is a concern. Always Best Care has several tools to assist with our clients with medication reminders and administration, including automatic dispensers, geriatric care management, and our trained home health aides.
Join Always Best Care for one of our informative seminars, held freely in our Torrance, South Bay location, or give us a call at 310-792-8666 for a free consultation.