Keeping Track of Pills and Potions: A Guide to Medication Management for Your Elderly Loved Ones

By Alpro Pharmacy

June 5, 2024

Navigating the world of medications for your elderly parents doesn’t have to be a daunting task. As our loved ones enter their golden years, their healthcare needs can grow, often leading to a juggling act of various medications. Let’s make managing these medications simpler, safer, and stress-free!

Why Medication Management is a Must for Seniors

With age comes wisdom, and sometimes, a few more pills! Proper medication management is critical—it helps avoid the mixing of medicines that shouldn’t mingle, prevents dosing mishaps, and ensures that treatments work as intended. After all, we want to keep the golden years truly golden, right?

Practical Tips for Caregivers

(a) Set Up a Proper Storage Spot for Medicines

Where is the best place to store the medicines?

Medications are often spotted in the most frequented areas of the home, like the kitchen counter or the dining table, places where they can be easily remembered. However, these aren’t always the best spots for keeping medications safe and effective. 

The ideal storage location should be cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight. Exposure to heat and humid environments may potentially affect the quality of medicines. Instead, consider a dedicated drawer or a cabinet in the living room or bedroom that is out of reach of children and pets. 

For special items, like unopened insulin pens that require refrigeration, the middle layer of the fridge is the perfect spot—but ensure they’re clearly labelled and stored away from food items to avoid confusion. Avoid storing the unopened insulin pen at the door, as the temperature fluctuates every time we open and close the fridge. 

Regularly check these spots for expired or unused medications to keep your storage areas organised and up-to-date. This proactive approach not only simplifies medication management but also ensures the safety and effectiveness of the treatment regimen.

(b) Keep an up-to-date medicine list

This list is your master control. It should detail every medication’s name, dosage, frequency, and purpose. This precision prevents dosage mistakes and is invaluable during health emergencies or routine doctor visits.

When prescriptions come from multiple healthcare facilities, it can get confusing fast. Fret not; the pharmacists are ready to help! A pharmacist can review all medications to streamline the regimen, ensuring no duplicates or contraindications, essentially tidying up your medicine.

You can bring all the medicines, supplements, and other over-the-counter products that your loved one is taking to a pharmacy for a medicine reconciliation. Our pharmacists can assist in generating a medicine list for your records.

*Start acting now by visiting your nearest Alpro Pharmacy. Our friendly neighbourhood pharmacists will assist you in writing down the medicine list on this cute card for free!

(c) Discover useful medication management tools

Learn about special services like monitored dosage systems (e.g. Medipack and Pilcube offered by Alpro Pharmacy), which organise pills into easy-to-manage packets, ensuring doses are never missed or mixed up. Discuss with our pharmacists to understand how these tools can fit into your loved one’s routine.

(d) Question, Read, and Learn

Empower yourself and your loved one by being proactive with each new medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist detailed questions about how the medicine works, its potential interactions, and any dietary considerations to prevent adverse effects. Dive deep into the medication labels as well—these contain critical information that ensures the medication is consumed safely and effectively. 

Simultaneously, gently remind your loved one about the risks associated with adjusting medication dosages on their own. Altering the dose or frequency without professional advice can be dangerous, potentially leading to severe complications. By staying informed and adhering strictly to the prescribed guidelines, you can safeguard your elderly parent’s health, turning medication management from a potential risk to a well-controlled aspect of their healthcare routine.

Remember, you’re never alone in this journey. Pharmacists are invaluable allies in managing your elderly parents’ medications effectively. They are always ready to assist, whether it’s clarifying dosage instructions, discussing potential side effects, or helping with medication reconciliations and reviews. At Alpro Pharmacy, our pharmacists take pride in providing personalised care and support. They are dedicated to ensuring your medication management process is as straightforward and safe as possible. Don’t hesitate to reach out with your questions or concerns—our pharmacists are here to help every step of the way, ensuring your loved ones receive the best possible care.

Need More Information? Talk to Our Expert!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Alpro ePharmacy or visit the nearest Alpro Pharmacy. Our team, consisting of pharmacists, doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, audiologists and dietitians, is ready to assist and provide support.

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