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Why is Medication Review Important for Seniors?June 15, 2020 0 Comment Category: Assisted Living
One of the most beneficial aspects of moving to an assisted living care facility is that they help seniors with managing different types of medications. The professional caregivers at assisted living communities will help with administering the right dosage as well as ensuring that the medications are ordered appropriately. They can also schedule a medication review for seniors with physicians and pharmacists so that the senior can understand and lower the risk of potential side effects due to multiple drug interactions.
What is a Medication Review?
Seniors above the age of 65 are often prescribed multiple medications, some taken multiple times a day. This can increase the possibility of potential conflicts or duplications, especially when multiple physicians are involved. Reviewing the medications with a professional pharmacist will help to recognize if the prescribed medicines need to be adjusted or if they counteract the action of another medication. A medication review will also help to keep an eye on the expiration dates as well as see which ones the senior no longer needs to take.
It is a known fact that modern pharmaceutical technology helps to lower the chances of a dangerous drug interaction. However, there can be instances when a senior uses different pharmacies for different types of prescribed medicines. The senior could be taking a few over-the-counter drugs too. That is why it is important to consult with a pharmacist to understand the effects and potential contradicting actions of all prescription and over-the-counter medications.
As pharmacists are experienced in drug therapy, a face-to-face medication review will allow them to educate the seniors on how to use different medications. During the medication review, the pharmacist may also find out if there are any alternative drugs to treat the symptoms without leading to any potential side effects. This helps seniors to discuss those options with their physicians and see if they can benefit from the suggested alternative drugs. Some of the recommendations by the pharmacist may even be more affordable than what the doctor had prescribed.
Another great benefit of a medication review with a pharmacist is that they can advise how to store medications properly. This will help to maintain their efficiency. They can also suggest how to safely dispose of the medicines that are no longer required or have expired.
Note that dumping unwanted medications in the trash or flushing them down the drain may violate the local and state regulations on safe medication disposal. These community guidelines are designed to avoid powerful drugs from interacting and polluting the water supply or harm the environment in any other way. Sometimes, throwing the medications in the dumpster may also lead to drug abuse if they end up in the wrong hands.
Assisted living communities follow strict policies to discard their residents’ medications that are no longer required. The Drug Enforcement Agency also hosts prescription medication take-back programs from time to time to help local communities dispose of unwanted medications safely. The Food and Drug Administration also has many drug take-back sites to help with proper medication disposal. The FDA website also lists which medications can be flushed down the toilet safely without harming the environment.
Medication management is an important part of senior care, which is why assisted living communities ensure adequate medication management services for all their residents. They can also offer tailored healthcare services to seniors based on their individual needs. However, there could be some limitations enforced by the state or local bodies to the level of healthcare services, which an assisted living facility can provide. Therefore, it is advised to consult with the assisted living community authorities and understand the services and amenities they offer before moving.