In the United States, 50,000 people aged 80 and over are hospitalized each year because of an emergency drug reaction. Many seniors take multiple medications daily, and mixing them up can be easy. 87% of seniors are prescribed at least one medication, 36% are prescribed five or more, and 38% use over-the-counter medications. These drugs can have serious health consequences if they are not taken correctly. This underlines the importance of having an effective system in place to help seniors manage their medications.
Boom Health has put together a list of tips to help you do just that.
1. Start by gathering all your medications and putting them in one location. This is so that you don’t accidentally forget to take some of them.
2. Check the expiration date. Don’t be tempted to use expired medications as these can cause more serious illnesses due to the growth of bacteria.
3. Create and maintain an updated medication list. This list should include the name of the medication, dosage, how often it is taken, who it was prescribed by, and its purpose. Take note of any side effects from these medications and report them to your healthcare provider.
4.Pre-sort your medications. Ideally, you can do this for the following week or even a month. Pill organizers can be purchased which can help organize medications for the future.
5. Be aware of medication changes that occur during hospital visits. Physicians commonly change the dosage, frequency, or type of medication prescribed based on your health. You can bring your medication list with you or update it when you get home.
6. Set up a system to remind yourself to take your medications and track which ones you have already taken. The first part can be done by always taking your medications with a certain meal or setting a daily alarm at a specific time. The second part can be done using pen and paper. You can create a chart and mark the days you have taken your medications.
7. Plan ahead for refills. It is extremely important to get refills on time. Set up a reminder for yourself when you are almost out so you can contact your healthcare provider or pharmacy to get more.
Boom Health provides trusted and dedicated caregivers. They can provide medication assistance and reminders, among many other things. If you are interested, check out the Boom Health app on the App Store or Google Play Store today!