4 Tips on Educating Patients on Medication Management
When you give directions to aging adults on how and when to take their medications, it can sometimes be difficult. You don’t want to insult anyone, but at the same time you want to make sure everything is perfectly clear. Where do you start? And, more importantly, how do you start?
First, remember that managing medication can be challenging at any age. However, as one grows older, it is difficult to comprehend all of the necessary steps for taking medication properly. There can be many steps on how to take the medicine or when to take the medicine, and it can all be an overwhelming process.
The young-old age group (66-74) do not struggle with the medication and directions as much as someone over the age of 75. When an older adult lives alone, he or she is more prone to mismanagement of their medications. So maybe ask if they have a spouse, family member or trusted friend to come with them to learn about all the medications and directions.
How how can a clinician help older adults regulate their medication effectively?
- Make sure to write everything down in case someone else is helping them take their medication. It is also important to have everything in writing just in case there is an emergency, or if they go to the hospital or a specialist to help them with any other health issue. Every medical professional should be aware of what the patient is taking on a daily basis for proper treatment.
- Make sure you talk to your patient about their medications and what everything is intend to do for their healthcare. Your patient should be fully aware of side effects and other symptoms that can come with certain medications. Clinicians should encourage speaking with their pharmacist as well. Everyone, especially older adults, should have a good understanding and communication with both their physician and pharmacist.
- Evaluate if the aging adult can take the medication on their own or if they need assistance. If they can not take the medicine, make sure arrangements are made to have someone be the trusted caregiver that manages their medication. This caregiver should keep a record of the medication taken and missed. It is essential to keep accurate records for medical health experts to help the aging adult with any illness or health issues.
- The final step is to create a team that consist of the patient, medical staff, and pharmacist to help create a total health and medication management system. Will it be perfect? No. However, by creating a team you will help avoid major issues in medication management.
Need more help on senior care and health management? Check out Senior Living Options or contact Ann at 203-359-5777 today! Senior Living Options helps managing the next phase of life easier.
Author: Ann Jamison
Ann Jamison is an experienced senior advisor who has successfully worked with hundreds of families to help them find the best care and home-like environment for themselves or their loved ones. Prior to launching Senior Living Options, Ann was an eldercare advisor for a national placement agency and served as sales director at a senior living community. Thanks to her 25-year career in advertising sales and marketing, Ann is able to discern between hype and reality for her clients. Ann recognizes that there are objective factors that need to be weighed when making a life-changing decision, but she can also assess the important softer attributes by getting to know her clients and by using the gut instincts that can only come through extended experience.