Managing Your Medications

MedicationManagementDid you know that nearly 25% of nursing home admissions may be due to a senior’s inability to self-manage prescription medications at home?  Additionally, nearly 60% of all seniors make some kind of error when taking their medications, sometimes with potentially serious consequences.  The average senior takes seven medications daily.

There are many reasons why someone doesn’t take their prescribed medications, including the following:

  • They forget.
  • They don’t think they need it.
  • They cannot afford it.
  • They don’t like the side effects.
  • They get confused especially when doses change or they are given a different pill for the same diagnosis.
  • Taking medications becomes overwhelming.

According to Vesna Poirier, Director of Patient Services at MorseLife Home Health Care, the reasons for not taking medications can be as varied and individual as each patient.  “When people willfully change their dosages or discontinue their medications, it is usually not because they are being difficult,” she said.  “Instead, it’s because they don’t fully understand how the medications work and what the health consequences are when they don’t follow the regimen correctly or when they stop taking the medication.”

Mrs. Poirier noted that the importance of taking medications properly cannot be overemphasized, because the consequences of not taking them are especially serious for seniors.  “By not managing medications correctly, seniors increase their chance of being hospitalized,” she continued.  “Increased hospitalizations lead to increased risk of going to a nursing home.”

Home health care agencies, such as MorseLife Home Care, can help seniors by providing medication management.  A registered nurse will visit the patient once each week and will place pills in a weekly medication box.  The nurse helps the patient by handling all refill issues and interactions with both the doctor and pharmacist.

Home Health Care agencies also do medication reconciliation for patients who may not be able to figure out exactly what medications he or she needs after hospital or rehabilitation center discharge.  Through medication reconciliation, a home health care nurse can come to the home and provide direction.  Sometimes a caregiver is needed as well to remind the client about taking their medication.  This is for those with some form of memory loss.

Medication management is often key to enabling a senior to live with better health and wellness.  In fact, most people can continue living independently at home with Home Health Care services.

For more information, contact MorseLife Home Health Care at (888) 606-0707.

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