Many seniors are hospitalized each day for issues with medications. Many caregivers do follow the rules for medications, but the rules only work if seniors actually take the medications they are prescribed. One of the most important forms of senior home safety includes the fact that seniors need to take their medications as prescribed. Senior health care continues to get more and more expensive and mismanagement of medication can quickly send seniors to the hospital. When seniors are not safely taking their medications, they can overdose or take too little which can cause symptoms to return. In many cases, the number of cases of medication mismanagement is the cause of at least 10% of all senior hospital admissions.
There are many ways that senior home safety can help keep seniors from taking too much or too little of their medication. Senior home safety devices include more than grab bars and wheelchair ramps. Since many seniors have medication issues because they forget to take meds, providing seniors with a daily pill boxes can help seniors safely take their medications.
There are devices that can help remind seniors to take their medications. Some of them are small alarms or timers that will alert the senior that it is time to take the meds. If seniors forget to take their medications, some of the medications can rebound and make the problem come back. If money is no object, there are small machines that will dispense medications on time and at the right dosages. Since many seniors take both prescription and over-the-counter meds on a regular basis, any type of device that can help remind them is a good idea to keep the senior home safely stocked along with grab bars and wheelchair ramps.
It is also important to only get medications from one pharmacy. Whether the meds are over-the-counter or prescription, buying them from the same pharmacy can help ensure that medications will not interact with each other. Negative interactions can also cause seniors to visit the hospital. When seniors need to be admitted to the hospital, it can create significant out-of-pocket costs that could easily be avoided by talking to a pharmacist before taking any medications home from the pharmacy.
Many times, doctors are rushed and they are not always able to discuss the details about the medications that they prescribe. This makes pharmacists even more important. Senior caregivers need to take control of their senior home safety procedures by talking to pharmacists and physicians to understand the medications that their charges are taking. There are some important questions to ask to be sure that the medications are fully understood. The first thing to ask is the name of the medication and how it works in the body. Caregivers should also be aware of when the seniors should take the meds and what the side effects and possible interactions could be. Most prescription labels will state how long a medication should be taken, but it does not hurt to ask. It is also important to know how to store a medication, especially if that medication needs refrigeration or a particular temperature or light situation.