Overcoming the Challenges of Safe Medication Management in Seniors

As people age, it’s common for them to have more health conditions that require medications. Adults who are 65 years old and above are more likely to take multiple medicines than any other age group because they may have multiple chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. In fact, more than half of adults 65 and older (54%) report taking four or more prescription drugs.*

The Challenges

Managing medication can be challenging for senior adults who receive prescriptions from multiple healthcare providers. Age-related changes in the body and physical limitations can also affect medication management. Doses must be adjusted to avoid side effects and special instructions can be challenging to follow.

These medication management tips can help seniors avoid common mistakes.

Create a Routine: Seniors should take their medications on the same schedule daily to ensure maximum efficacy and develop a habit that helps prevent missed doses. Alarms and pillboxes can help keep medications organized, especially if they must be taken at different times throughout the day.

Stick to the Prescription: People should not alter any medication without consulting a doctor, as it may lead to side effects and other issues. Seniors should always take medications as prescribed until advised otherwise by their doctor. For any doubts or concerns, seniors should contact their doctor to discuss options.

Keep a Medication List: Creating a list with the name, dose and frequency of each one, along with the reason for taking it along with the name of the prescribing doctor, refill date and refills left can help seniors keep track of their medications and avoid errors.

Be Cautious of Drug Interactions: Keeping an updated medication list to share with doctors and pharmacists  can safeguard against possible drug interactions.

Store Medicine Safely. Prescriptions belong in a cool, dry place or cabinet, not in the kitchen or bathroom.

Avoid Taking Expired Medications: Seniors should check their medicine cabinet regularly and dispose of anything past its expiration date, including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Pharmacies can assist with safe disposal of medications.

These simple, mindful tips can help seniors maintain a healthy and safe daily medication routine.


This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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