Managing Medications

Aging and Medication Use

If you’re over 65, chances are you might be taking as many as five or six medications every day. When taken correctly, medications contribute to improved health, wellness, and daily functioning. But when taken incorrectly, they can do more harm than good. And unfortunately, the American Geriatric Society reports that 30% of seniors in the United States have negative reactions to a prescription medication due to missed doses or doubling up on doses.

Tips for Staying Safe

While managing medications for anyone can be tough, it can be especially difficult to remember what and when you need to take things as you get older.

Some tips for staying safe include:

Staying Informed

Talk to your doctor about what each medication is for and why you need to take it. This can help you identify if you’ve been given multiple to treat the same issue or if you’re taking medications for issues you are no longer facing.

Knowing if Medications Aren’t Safe for Seniors

Some medications may be less effective, or in more serious cases, pose higher risks for negative side effects like dry mouth, constipation, and confusion, among others, if you’re over 65.

Watching for Behavioral or Physical Changes

Medications can affect people differently, so if you are experiencing a side effect, discuss it with your pharmacist or doctor.

A Tool for Medication Management

Today, technology can be a significant resource when it comes to medication management. spencer is an at-home, cloud-based medication tool designed to help individuals taking multiple medications manage their adherence schedule. The machine is prefilled by a certified pharmacist and dispenses the appropriate number of pills at specified times, eliminating the need for pill counting or sorting. It provides reminders, alerts, and support messages, and it shows pictures of the dispensed medications to ward off possible confusion.

If you miss a dose, spencer alerts your caregiver and pharmacist via text, email, or mobile app. The device can also dispense medications in advance for times you will be away for an extended period. Prescriptions are automatically refilled by a pickup and delivery service.

The Importance of Adherence

Prescription medication is common for aging individuals, and it’s vitally important to help treat symptoms and keep you feeling happy and healthy. Develop a plan that works for you and keeps your schedule from becoming overwhelming. That way you can focus on the important things in life without worrying.

An Expert Weighs In

"Medication management is one of the most difficult responsibilities a patient and caregiver can have. Regarding patients with chronic illness, approximately 50% do not take medications as prescribed. This poor adherence to medication leads to increased morbidity, hospitalization, and death. It is vitally important for patients to take their medications as prescribed by their physician in order to maximize benefits and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. MedX Services provides a delivery service utilizing spencer and their connected care technology, with Bluetooth capabilities, to deliver unprecedented clinical oversight."

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