Remember how you bought and filled that smart little pill organizer with all the separate little boxes in it with the names of the week and the morning, afternoon, evening and night doses for dad? And how you often checked that many of those little boxes were still filled? Left to his own devices, dad would probably not even get his prescription filled much less remember to correctly take the right combination of pills in the right doses. And you worry, don’t you?
Why medication management is a significant issue in the later years.
It is a fact that older people are much more likely to suffer from a range of health issues. For instance your aging parent or other loved could have a heart ailment, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, COPD, arthritis, a kidney issue or glaucoma, or a combination of two or more of these diseases. The result would be a complicated and difficult to remember drug regimen.
Researchers have found that seniors’ ability to remain independent in their own home depends largely on their ability to manage a complicated medical regimen. Consider these facts:
- About 50% of people over the age of 65 are taking a combination of five or more medications.
- Older people are more susceptible to the side effects of drugs.
- They are also at a higher risk of drug interactions because seniors are more likely to be prescribed a cocktail of multiple drugs for various ailments they may have.
- They are more likely to make mistakes with their medication, or may forget to take them altogether because of age-related issues such as fading eyesight, forgetfulness, depression, anxiety etc.
- Though older adults are the biggest demographic using prescription meds, they are most likely to suffer adverse reactions to those medications.
- About 3 million seniors get admitted to nursing homes because of drug related issues. Non-adherence and adverse drug reactions are a big cause for hospital admissions among older adults.
- When older adults have their medications managed for them, this can prevent hospital and nursing home admissions, emergency department visits and also improve overall quality of life.
- There is a lot of research devoted to helping patients remember their meds. Many phone apps and other tools have been developed to improve compliance since this is a significant concern for their families.
- People living with seniors and senior caregivers typically have to expend considerable time and effort in making sure that medications are taken as prescribed.
If you were to speak to a professional caregiver in your neighborhood or the larger Elkton area, they would tell you that managing medication, and taking care of possible drug interactions and side effects is a central aspect of caregiving. Caregivers have to ensure that the medications are administered correctly and that there are no missed doses so that the person gets optimal benefit of the meds they take. They also have to ensure that there are no drug interactions and/or side effects, because an incorrect dose can do more harm than good. It is also something that our assisted living facility undertakes to do for our residents – an aspect of senior living that we take very seriously.
Looking after medications for seniors in assisted living.
It could be very difficult for a son, daughter or grandchild to ensure that their loved one is taking their medications on time and in the correct doses. With all the many professional and home-related issues vying for your attention, this is difficult to monitor even if the elderly person is living with you. This is one of the reasons why so many families feel reassured and relieved about their loved ones going into assisted living is the effective management of an older adult’s medical protocol.
In assisted living, the caregivers take care of administering medications: the right medicine for the right person, in the correct dose and at the recommended time. The staff would also have the training and experience to know about drug toxicity and possible adverse reactions due to drug interactions. The allergies and intolerances of individual residents are also kept in mind at all times. The affiliated or in-house pharmacist, nurse or medical professional would oversee and review these processes. In the alternative, the assisted living staff would be in touch with the resident’s personal doctor to ensure correct pharmaceutical management. A service provider would also review the appropriateness of meds and dosages from time to time.
Depending upon the resident’s level of independence and functional autonomy, caregivers would oversee the medical protocol. This could range from reminding a resident about their medications to actually administering the medication and making sure they are actually taken. Managing the medical protocols of senior residents could also include the administering of injections or IV dosages, eye-drops, and the application of creams or topical ointments.
It is reassuring to families of residents that assisted living facilities offer the benefit of trained and experienced nursing staff. Aspects of medical management such as record keeping, monitoring, supervision and error management are also taken care of. Some assisted living facilities also coordinate with pharmacies to prepackage and customize meds as per the individual requirements and doses.
Apart from ensuring that residents are getting the right doses and cross-referencing for possible allergies and drug interactions, Assisted living facilities also have prompt reaction protocols in an adverse situation. If there is an unforeseeable drug reaction or accidental overdose, the home’s intervention plan would limit any harm. As and when required, medication protocols are also reviewed and updated.
If you have any questions about medical management in assisted living call us today wellhomed.com/contact/. We would be happy to offer any information you need or clarify any doubts you have. If you prefer, you can visit us personally to check out the premises and even meet some of our dedicated professionals who assist our residents on a day to day basis. We would gladly set up an appointment for a personal visit wellhomed.com/contact/ to help you decide about the place where your loved one will be happy, secure and well looked after.