For patients, regularly taking their medicine is a must to recover. If they are in the hospital or a nursing facility, it is easy to accomplish. But once they get discharged, it can be a challenge. Home health care expert Amavi guides on how to effectively manage your or your loved one’s medication.
The Challenges Of Managing Medication At Home
At first, you might think that helping your loved ones take their medicines is straightforward work. But once you start, you might find it is far from that. Here, you will encounter several challenges.
Keeping Track Of The Schedule
Taking medicines often follows a strict schedule. The idea here is that the timing of the various medications should overlap to ensure maximum effectiveness. However, when you are busy with other home chores and activities, tracking these times is hard.
Here, while a few misses might not be an issue, this can become a big problem when it occurs frequently. The reduced effectiveness of the medication means that you have a greater risk of succumbing to the disease the medicine is preventing.
Giving the right dosages is another concern you have to deal with when managing medication at home. That might seem odd, considering that the dosages are already given you upon prescription. However, the challenge comes when you have to deal with several different medicines. You might end up confusing one dosage for another.
There is also the matter of monitoring the effectiveness of a given dosage. Here, be vigilant for signs that the current dosage might not be as effective as before. That can be challenging if you are doing other things. Incorrect dosages can make the medicine less effective or even have untoward side effects.
Complex Medication Regimens
The above two challenges can be harder if you have more complex medication regimens. Aside from tracking dosage and time, you might also need to administer special medications. While professionals are best for these, at-home patients might not always have access to them. As such, home caregivers have no choice but to handle it themselves.
Getting The Cooperation Of Patients
If you are the one taking care of your loved ones, you might encounter some resistance from them. That can happen even during something as simple as taking their medicines. There are various reasons why the situation might occur.
For instance, your loved ones might not like the side effects of the medicine. It might make them uncomfortable or sleepy. Or they do not like the taste. These simple reasons can make them adverse to taking their medicine.
On the other hand, some patients feel like they don’t need the medicine. They would often insist that they are strong and well enough to do without these. These patients can be harder to handle since they can hold strong to that notion.
Creating Your Home Medication Management Strategy
To better deal with the above challenges, you need a clear strategy for handling your or your loved one’s medications. For that, here are some important points you should keep in mind.
Familiarizing Yourself With The Medicines
Once you receive the prescriptions for the medicines, it can look like a confusing mess. Thus, the first thing that you need to do is familiarize yourself with these medications. Ask the following questions.
- Why did the doctor prescribe the medicine?
- How does the medicine work?
- What are the most common side effects?
- Are there any rare side effects?
- Will the medicine interact with other medicines my loved one is taking?
- What are the activities my loved one should avoid when taking the medicine?
- Are there any food restrictions?
- What should I do when my loved one misses a dose?
Note that some of these questions might be a bit technical. Your doctor or pharmacist will gladly explain everything to you. Thus,note their words carefully. If you have more questions later on, don’t hesitate to contact them. Never administer a prescription until after you have clarified everything.
Organizing Your Home Medicine Cabinet
The next thing you need to do is organize everything. Your goal is to make it easy to track which medications to take and monitor expiration dates and other information. For that, you want to have a storage box that is well-suited to the medicines you need to store.
Here, you can get a box that already comes with label stickers. You should also get one with multiple compartments so you can separate the medicines to be taken at different times. Make sure that you label everything correctly for ease of use.
Developing A Medication Regimen
To help your loved ones take their medicines according to the schedule, you should create a regimen for them. Start by reviewing the list of medicines they have to take. Explain why they have to take each one and how often.
You would also want to set up a simple visual reminder for them to follow the schedule. For example, you can paste a chart under a clock so that they can also track the time. Additionally, you can set up alarms for this.
In some cases, you might also need to directly assist your loved one in taking their medicine. Here, you should be clear in your instructions to them. However, be gentle in your approach so they won’t be intimidated by the act.
Lastly, do a routine inventory of the medicine cabinet once every month. Take note of the ones that need refills and remove those that might have expired. Schedule a trip to the pharmacist in advance so that they can prepare your prescriptions. You would also want to reconfirm to your doctor that the prescriptions are still applicable.
Getting Help From Home Health Care Providers
Sometimes, you might not be able to do all the medical management duties. In these cases, you can get the help of a home healthcare provider like Amavi. When you sign up with us, we will provide you with a caregiver for the role.
They will take over the task of assisting your loved one take their medicine. These caregivers are experts in the work, so you know everything is handled correctly. Our team can also provide you with all the essential updates.
Amavi knows the importance of good medication management. And as a premier home health care service provider, we are ready to help you do this right. So, contact us today and get the best service your loved ones need.