Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Take Care With Medications

Last week I attended a talk on Medication Management for seniors. A registered nurse who is with Nursing and Home Care gave the presentation, which was really excellent. What I liked most was how many seniors showed up and how engaged they were in listening. They are confused by those "meds" they're taking are, and came to find out more about how to manage taking them. The woman sitting next to me came with a baggie filled with about 10 different pill bottles.

That's why it was great that there was a useful freebie being given away at the talk - a seven-day pill organizer. This is a plastic case with seven rows of little square holders for your pills. You organize the pills by day and time, so that you can keep track of what you've taken and not taken.

I can see how this would be really helpful. Two years ago, I had an infected dog bite, and I had to take two antibiotics on two different schedules. Plus, I could only take them within a certain number of hours before or after taking a multivitamin. The regimen was quite complex.

My solution was to write out the schedule on one piece of paper that I left on the kitchen table. Then, I had another piece of paper on which I wrote down the date and time that I had taken each pill -- immediately after I had taken it. This way, I didn't have to wonder if I had taken it or at what time I had done so. The system worked very well for me and helped keep me out of the hospital.

Try it for yourself. I'll be writing more on medication management this week.

Please send me questions and comments.

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