It’s very common for seniors to be prescribed one or several medications as they get older. These medications can range from simple vitamin supplements to more focused medications for chronic illnesses. And for seniors living in a retirement community, additional help may be needed to keep track of daily pill regimens. No matter the type of prescriptions, it’s important that senior living medication management is taken seriously and carried out correctly, as mix-ups can lead to unintended but harmful consequences.
Understand the importance of senior living medication management
There are several reasons why senior living medication management is necessary and a few of these center around natural declines in everyday skills that seniors experience as they age. According to the National Institute of Health, about 40% of people aged 65 or older have age associated memory impairment. Even mild memory loss can lead to confusion over prescriptions or forgetting to take pills altogether. Additionally, a decline in crisp eyesight can also make it difficult to read labels on prescription bottles correctly, which can cause seniors to take the wrong medications at the wrong times.
One of the key benefits to senior living medication management, however, is that it gives seniors the ability to continue living their lives independently with little assistance from a medical professional for a longer period of time. With the peace of mind that senior living medication management brings, seniors will also be more content in their daily lives and able to enjoy their retirement community experiences more freely.
Tips for improving senior living medication management
Each retirement community has their own system on how to execute senior living medication management, but to keep retirement community seniors safe and healthy, there are a few universal key tips that any retirement community can use.
- Create medication lists for any seniors who are on strict regimens – Knowing what prescriptions residents are taking and understanding the side effects those medications can produce will help staff members to look out for warning signs of medication-related illnesses.
- Discuss medication side effects with residents – Not only is it important for staff and nurses to understand medications and possible side effects, it’s also important that residents understand the risks of certain medications and any dangers that can come with mixing multiple medications. By educating residents you can create an open dialogue so that seniors understand what to look out for and know who to talk to if a medication mistake is made.
- Use technology to keep track of medications – For larger retirement communities, an online database can be incredibly helpful when it comes to senior living medication management. There are many options available for safe and secure electronic health record systems, which can enable any staff member to manage medications quickly and efficiently for any resident at a given time.
Continue to train your employees on senior living medication management best practices
One of the most important tips when it comes to senior living medication management is to continue educating staff and volunteers in retirement communities on best practices. There are many online training courses that can offer senior living professionals the latest certifications and procedures when it comes to not only senior living medication management but nearly any retirement community or assisted living community skills. From downloadable materials to virtual training and test-prep guides, continued education for senior living professionals has become incredibly accessible for any community – not to mention one of the best ways to improve senior living experiences for both staff and residents.
How SeniorLivingU can help communities improve senior living medication management and more
Headquartered in Hershey, PA, SeniorLivingU serves as a support system and senior living resources provider for organizations and individuals within the senior living industry. Our website provides a full e-commerce storefront for registered account members to easily purchase new retirement community online certificates on topics like senior living medication management and other helpful senior living resources as they see fit and as often as they like. You can also visit the FAQ page for some helpful tips on how to navigate our materials. To learn more about SeniorLivingU, the services we provide, and how we can senior care training materials as well as other relevant resources for your organization, contact us today. We look forward to matching your team with the right retirement community staff training courses for your needs.