Medication management is a critical part of a caregivers duty. 60% of older adults who manage their medication do so improperly, and 76 percent are more likely to experience a significant decline in their overall health than those who take all medicines as prescribed (for more facts check out Medscape’s factsheet). As a caregiver, taking on medication management can be a daunting and time-consuming task because let’s be real, who really knows what the brown pill does versus what the little white one does?
The best way to prevent improper intake of medications is to stay up-to-date and organized on all their drugs. Having a list handy and updating the information as needed is the best way to ensure they will never miss a dose. Plus, it’s an easy reference to take with you to all the doctor’s appointments or to give someone who will manage their medications in your stead.
To take on medication management, there are several key bits of information you will need to keep track of:
- The name of the medication and what it looks like.
- What the medication is used for.
- What time of day it needs to be taken.
- Any special instructions, i.e., should this be taken with food?
- Possible side effects to look out for.
- A sign off that the meds were taken for the day.
TIP: Doctor’s talk really fast and it is hard to remember once you leave if they’ve prescribed a new medication or if they have discontinued use of another. Take this journal with you to the doctor’s appointment so you can quickly jot down everything they say!!