3 Tips on Medication Management for Family & Professional Caregivers
Most family caregivers who provide nursing/medical tasks are also responsible for medication management, including administering injections and intravenous fluids (even if they aren’t trained for that). If you or your beloved ones fail to take medications as prescribed by the physician, it can cause more than 1 million preventable adverse events. Well, we sure don’t want that to happen! Here are our tips for family and professional caregivers on medication management: let it become easy and safe!
1 – Make a medication list and get organized! The list should include prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbals, as well as natural remedies and supplements. If there’s any change or adjustment, it’s necessary to update your list, too. Nowadays, there are so many useful tools and forms to help caregivers stay organized. I would highly recommend an app for iOS and Android, CeyHello – a pill organizer you’ll definitely love! If you have a patient who often misses the medications, this app will help him/her in medication adherence and to avoid the negative consequences of missed doses.
2 – As a caregiver, you should ALWAYS be a part of the hospital discharge process and to be able to access the discharge notes containing list of medications.
3 – Choose your pharmacist wisely. First of all, shop around. Although this sounds awkward, buying medicines is similar to buying any other products. It’s of high importance to be comfortable with your pharmacist – know their name, number and working hours. Since the healthcare system seems to be getting more and more complex, it’s good to have someone you can trust in the health care team. Pharmacists are well versed in providing advice to patients, caregivers and other health care providers, especially when it comes to side effects, dosages, interactions and selection of medications. Bonus tip, keep the number of doctors and pharmacists to a minimum! In fact, use only one pharmacy to get medications (as well as supplements and OTCs), because it adds another level of review that is helpful in ensuring appropriate dosage and reducing the risk of adverse drugs interactions and affects.