Medication Management for the Elderly at Home

The ability to remain independent at home for the elderly depends on the ability to manage complicated medication regimen. When they are not able to manage their medicines, it often results in a nursing home placement. In the United States, an estimated three million adults are admitted to nursing homes due to drug-related problems at an annual cost of more than $14 billion. Older adults are the largest users of prescription medication, yet with advancing age, they are more vulnerable to adverse reactions to medications they are taking. It is also documented that approximately 30 percent of hospital admissions of the older adults are drug related with more than 11 percent attributed to medication non-adherence. There are some things that could be done to minimize such impact on seniors.

Some Tips for Proper Medication Management:

  1. Review all prescribed and non-prescribed medications that the elderly is taking including over the counter medicine.

  2. Always take the list of medicines the elderly is taking to doctor’s appointments.

  3. Verify prescribed medications and related medical diagnoses with prescribing physician.

  4. Make sure medications are never missed due to lack of funds. Medicare Part D, other insurance coverage or participation in drug company programs can help.

  5. Develop refill reminders or use automatic refill service.

  6. Medication knowledge is important, caregivers must be knowledgeable of dose and frequency, and special instructions with medication such as "take with food". Know which side effects to pay attention to and report.

  7. Use of a pill box or easy open container can help.

  8. Ask the pharmacy for availability of the drugs in blister packs if indicated.

  9. Provide memory enhancing methods of devices such as medication calendar or chart, electronic reminder or alarm.

For more information please contact the Senior Resource Center at: 405-639-3939

Mina Acquaye RN, BSN, MPH, CHCE
Excell Private Care Services, LLC.