Providing healthcare to elderly individuals is a big job and one of the hardest tasks is medication management. Geriatrics involves caring for and promoting good health in older adults. As a professional in this area or medication provider, the overall goal is to prevent problems and guarantee proper administration of all prescriptions. It is common for an aging individual to have one or more health problems, which require multiple medications.
On average, three out of four individuals surpassing age 65 will have one if not more chronic health conditions. This creates a scenario where multiple prescriptions might be needed to manage conditions such as high blood pressure, arthritis, or even Alzheimer’s during their everyday lives. Knowing what medications need to be taken, frequency, and amounts is an imperative part of this process. Geriatric medication management prevents harm caused by the following:
- Missed or Skipped Doses
- Doubling or Tripling of Doses
- Mixing the Wrong Medications
- Not Following Medicine Instructions
A large percentage of the elderly are also taking an incorrectly prescribed medicine. At the same time, an extensive number of hospital admittances are directly due to adverse reactions. It is also easy for an individual to forget to take a dose or to double up on a dose. Geriatric medication management is important whether you are a healthcare provider or a pharmacy fulfilling a customer’s prescription. Many measures can be taken both in packaging these items and when providing care to prevent these potential problems from occurring.
Tips for Managing Prescriptions and Doses
It is important for geriatric care providers to know what medications have been prescribed and to take steps to properly manage them. When an elderly patient or individual must take multiple prescriptions for different conditions, it is sometimes referred to as polypharmacy. This scenario becomes a health hazard when the medicines do not work together or create adverse health effects. Here are a few key things pharmacists can do to reduce the chance of these occurrences:
- Take Measures to Ensure Label Readability
- Using Clear, Concise Instructions
- Explain Why the Medication is Needed
- Make Certain the Dosage Fits the Age Group
- Provide Plenty of Documentation
- Be Available for Questions
- Know What Medications Harm the Elderly
- Become Familiar with Medicine Side Effects
- Using Packaging to Promote Better Management
Regardless of what side you are on in the geriatric medication management battle, there are steps that can be taken to prevent harm to the patient. As a health care provider, it is essential to know the patient’s prescriptions, side effects, and to use a system for monitoring doses. Pharmacists should take action to make certain the proper information is provided as well as follow the key items mentioned above.
Packaging and labeling products play a pivotal role in these measures, as the wrong items will smudge, bleed, bust, or make it hard to monitor doses. If you are wanting to take steps to improve geriatric medication management for your customers or patients, the team at Drug Package is here to help. We offer a wide range of packaging solutions including standard or custom blister packs designed to assist with proper administration and management of meds.