Keeping track of medications can seem like a difficult task, especially if you take a number of them. It is important to work with both your doctor and pharmacist to make sure that you are taking the right medications in the right amounts. It is common for seniors to be over-prescribed extra medications or ineffective medications or higher doses than needed. So if you feel like your medications aren’t doing what they should be doing, get proactive and make sure what you are taking is doing the job. These simple tips will help you work together with your San Diego area senior care services to make the most of your medication regimen.
Here are some tips for getting proactive to make sure what you are taking is working for you.
- Maintain a regular doctor and pharmacist: Try to stick to a few primary health care providers to avoid accidental over-prescription. However, do seek a second opinion if you feel uncertain about a medication schedule your regular doctor has provided you with.
- Keep a medication journal: Keep a detailed log of your medications by tracking the names, dosages, symptoms to be treated, contradictions, and side effects. Make a practice of reviewing and updating your journal once a week. While this seems like a lot of work, keeping a journal is an invaluable tool to help you stay on top of your medication needs.
- Sort: Once a week take the time to sort out your medications using a pill organizer. Carefully review the labels and keep any medications that you are to use as needed aside and carefully and clearly labeled. While this might seem like a cumbersome activity, keeping your medications organized not only ultimately saves time, but helps to prevent dangerous mishaps like taking the wrong pill or mixing the wrong medications together.
- Involve family and friends: If you feel overwhelmed by the task of tracking your own meds, don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help you out. It is also important to share your medication information and the location of your medication journal with a loved one in case of an emergency.
- Schedule an annual medication review with your health provider: At least once a year, take the time for a comprehensive review of your medication regimen with your primary care physician. Be sure to bring along your medication journal so you can discuss the relative effectiveness of each medication you are taking, in addition to any residual symptoms or side effects you might be experiencing. Remember to be completely honest about your lifestyle choices and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you feel uncertain. This will only help your health providers make the best choices to serve you.