Creating Effective Medication Management Systems for Seniors

medication management systemsMedication adherence is a term that simply means taking medications as they are prescribed. However, to the extent in which patients correctly take their medications can vary. Patients, especially the elderly, may not take their medications correctly due to several circumstances including: financial limitations, memory loss, little comprehension of directions and the ability to have prescriptions filled. This is why it is essential that medication management systems are in place to help the elderly, disabled and other homebound patients stay on their medication regimens.

Barriers to Adherence

As briefly stated, medication adherence can be difficult for those that have barriers. For example, many seniors take more than one prescribed medication. These medications may also have dosing schedules that are very complex. Unless effective medication management systems are in place, diseases will not be treated properly, complications can occur after surgery or illness and patients can experience a decreased quality of life.

Although medication adherence is important for all medications, there are some medications that can pose even great challenges for patients when they are not taken as prescribed. Fortunately, there are tips that you can include in a medication management system for your loved one.

AIDS/HIV Medications

Patients with HIV or AIDS can experience issues with medication adherence. It is not uncommon for these patients to be on multiple medications at once, and the medications cannot be taken at the same time. Certain medications for HIV and AIDS can actually make patients feel sicker and less motivated to take their medications.

On the opposite of the spectrum, when patients feel good, they may forget or simply refuse to take their medications. Since the physical reminder is not there, they may not understand the need to take the medicine.

Antibiotics

Many patients stop taking antibiotics as soon as they feel better or their symptoms have disappeared. However, if you are taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection, stopping the medication too soon can be dangerous. If the entire prescription is not taken, some bacteria could still live. These germs can become resistant to the antibiotic and a new strain of bacteria could develop.

Medication management systems and medication therapy are important to implement in your loved one’s care plan if he or she is having problems taking medications as prescribed. All members of your loved one’s health care team can work together to find the most effective system for their needs.

Do you or your loved one need medication reminders or a more thorough medication management system? Contact us today for a free assessment and learn how our professional caregivers can help your loved one stay on track with their medication regimen.