Medication management is a crucial aspect of any care plan. In the United States, 17-to-19% of adults aged 65 or older take 10 or more medications in a given week. These prescription medications, vitamins, supplements, and non-prescription drugs all can have powerful impacts on the health and quality of life of our loved ones. But, when they are taken in the wrong dosage, a dose is missed, or expired medication is consumed, it can lead to an adverse drug event.
What Are Adverse Drug Events?
Every year Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) result in nearly 450,000 emergency room visits from older adults according to the CDC. This number is more than twice the occurrence seen by younger people.
Adverse drug events cover any injury or harm to a person as a result of taking a drug. Adverse drug events include allergic reactions, adverse reactions to medications, overdoses, and other medication errors.
As people age, they typically take more medications. Over time it is easy for expired medications to collect in the home, or non-prescription drugs to be taken that react poorly with prescribed medication. Medication management from a trained healthcare provider can drastically reduce the risk of ADEs for older adults.
How Does Medication Management Help Prevent ADEs?
While taking prescribed medications every day may sound simple, small mistakes can lead to huge consequences, especially for older adults. Seniors often save medication thinking they may need it later, but this can cause confusion and medication errors. Medication management is the process of medical professionals implementing strategies and techniques to prevent ADEs.
What Is The Process For Medication Management?
At AmeraCare, we provide in-home medication management services. This process starts with Medication Reconciliation, where our nurse helps to gather all of the medications kept in the home. Then the nurse “reconciles” the medication with what medication the patient is currently prescribed. Our record for the highest number of medications found in a patient’s home was 57 bottles of mostly expired medication!
Our Medication Management team includes our skilled nurses, proactive case managers, and medical directors. After Medication Reconciliation, our team works together with the patient to ensure proper medication adherence moving forward.
Can I Do Medication Management For My Loved One In Need?
It is unwise to attempt medication management for your loved ones. Our team of skilled healthcare professionals is able to review all medications a patient is taking to ensure that the prescription is accurate and that all medications work together. This ensures that your loved one is getting all of the benefits they need from their prescriptions and helps to avoid ADEs.
Per RN- Kathy Hubbard- Often times, medications become too much for the caregivers and/or patients to handle. There are often changes made, and when they are not relayed to the correct person, it can lead to accidental mismanagement of the routine medications. “I have found that setting up a pill planner for the patient dramatically decreases the risk of error. Also, an accurate list of all scheduled and as-needed medication list helps too!”
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