As an older adult, medications can help you live a healthy and fulfilling life as you age. However, making some common medication mistakes can result in negative and even fatal consequences, especially if this is sustained over a long period. If you are looking for ways to help your aging parent or loved one avoid medication mistakes, read on for our top tips in this article.
Common Medication Mistakes to Avoid
Did you know that for every 50 older adults who are on medications, 1 life-threatening incident occurs every year? This is not necessarily caused by the medications themselves but by making mistakes with taking them. Some of the common mistakes to avoid include:
- Overdosing or underdosing – Besides taking too much or too little at one go, neglecting to take a pill at the right time or taking them too often can also lead to over or underdosing.
- Drug interaction – Some medications are never to be taken one after the other or even in the same repertoire. If your elderly loved one unknowingly mixes two or more types of medications that don’t go together, this can result in undesirable side effects.
- Medication mix-up – Older adults with vision impairments may find themselves identifying the wrong medications and taking them at the wrong time.
Keep in mind that at least 40% of serious drug reactions and incidents are preventable. By taking some time to prevent these mistakes, you can save your loved one from a potential disaster.
Preventing Medication Mistakes
Now that you know more about the common medication mistakes that can be made, let us share with you some top tips for preventing them:
- Make use of a pillbox or organizer – Every week or month, take some time to sort out your loved one’s medications into a pillbox. That way, they can easily identify which medications they should be taking at any given time and day.
- Remind them timely – If you don’t live with your loved one or you are out during the day, consider setting alarms to remind them to take their medications or phoning in to check on them.
- Label medications appropriately – Does your loved one have trouble reading the small print on medication labels? If so, you may wish to relabel or color-code them accordingly.
- Check in with medical professionals – If you spot something concerning about your loved one’s medications, always speak to their doctor as soon as possible. For instance, it can be possible that they are taking medications from two different quarters and a potential drug interaction has not been identified.
Come to The Trace for Assisted Senior Living
Looking for medication management services your elderly loved one can benefit from? You have come to the right place at The Trace. In our assisted living community, our residents can benefit from a wide range of personalized services to suit their needs, including continence management, ambulatory transfer assistance, 24/7 nursing care and lots more!
Contact us today to schedule a tour of our retirement community.