Supporting the Pill Patrol Team

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Everyone in the business of caring for older adults agrees: medication mismanagement is a huge issue for seniors and their families. It can be the root of a whole host of other common concerns including hospitalization, hospital readmission, confusion, dizziness, falls, personality changes, sleep issues, etc.

And it is so very easy to do. In a recent survey, about 20 percent of seniors said that they had some difficulty managing their medications. Another alarming statistic is that nearly one-fifth of seniors surveyed said they do not have/don't know if they have a full list of medications that they are currently taking.

As senior care professionals, we can help older adults and their families address these issues in some very simple ways, including:

  • Identifying who on the senior's care team needs to be part of their pill patrol team. This list includes the senior, a trusted pharmacist, doctors, nurses, family members and professional caregivers, as well as anyone else involved in the medication routine.
  • Designating a single provider to keep track of the "big picture." Appointing one medical professional, such as the senior's primary doctor, to monitor the senior's overall health could help to minimize the potential for medication mistakes.
  • Making sure everyone on the team has a complete, updated list of the medications the senior is taking and when they should be taking it.
  • Maintaining regular communication among the entire team to help the senior understand—and follow—doctor's orders.

In order to help seniors and their care team manage medication, Home Instead Senior Care has developed Let's Talk about Rx, a program that includes resources for seniors and their families, a downloadable medication tracking worksheet, videos and more. Please feel free to pass on these resources to any older adults and their care teams who would benefit from them.

For more information about helping seniors and the people who care for them, please contact us!


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