Keeping your medications jumbled up in a mess may result in mix-ups, wasted time spent hunting for the right medication, missing a dose or even overdosing. If you’re taking care of a senior loved one, organizing their medication is imperative. According to medical reports, 23 percent of hospital admissions for senior citizens are normally cases related to the inability of seniors to self-manage prescriptions. Given that most seniors suffering from different conditions take about seven different medications every day (on average), it’s no wonder seeing the alarming statistics of health complications arising from either missing dosages or worse still, overdosing. Learning how to organize your medications or those of a senior loved one can help prevent fatal errors. Here are four tips to help you:
Out With The Old!
You can’t organize your medications before getting rid of expired ones. Expired medications can be ineffective or worse, cause fatal reactions due to changes in their chemical compositions. If you don’t have a way to organize your medication, it’s likely you have medication in various places throughout your home, expired ones included. This is why you need to first collect all your medications in one place and then sort them out, getting rid of any expired ones and amalgamating duplicate prescriptions. Once you’ve safely disposed of expired medication, move onto the next tip.
Identify The Right Environment
Exposure to factors like heat, light, and moisture can affect your medication’s potency, either causing them to be ineffective or making them harmful when ingested. Safety is another important issue so you need to store medication away from children’s sight and reach. Generally, most medications require a cool, dry and relatively dark environment. However, every medication has special storage requirements so you should first read the manufacturer’s instructions before deciding on the best storage. On this note, owing to fluctuations in temperatures due to activities that take place in these two rooms, the bathroom and kitchen are inappropriate places to store medication. Better alternatives would be shelves or storage cabinets in other parts of the house.
Depending on how many members of your household take medications, separating them can help avoid confusion. For instance, you may separate your child’s medication from yours and yours from the senior’s if you’re living with one and so on. After grouping the medication as per the family members, you can now organize each member’s medication even further. For example, you can separate different types of medication according to the frequency of use like those that are for daily use or weekly. You could also mark medications that will expire soon to act as a reminder that they need regular checking.
Transfer To Storage Drawers & Attach Labels
Once you’re done grouping the medication, transfer them into storage drawers and attach labels accordingly. There are various storage containers in the market you can use for storing medication. The best buys are clear containers that can hold medication within easy reach for you but not that of children. Still on this, if you have a family member who takes medication everyday, you can purchase a pill organizer. These have several compartments that hold a day’s worth of medication. Also, if you’re committed to work and maybe other duties, our highly specialized home care professionals can help organize and administer prescriptions to your ailing elder. This is just part of what our home care professionals can attend to.
Disorganized medications are highly susceptible to misuse, diversion, and abuse. Knowing how to organize and store medication can help you avoid costly mistakes resulting from accidental poisonings and overdoses.