Medication Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone

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, Medication Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone, Dr. Nicolle

It’s Wellness Wednesdays! We’ll talk about medication safety tips for seniors living alone. By staying aware of medication safety guidelines, you can avoid complications and other issues. Did you know that simply storing your medications in the wrong spot at home can affect them?

 

Use these medication safety tips to stay organized and healthy:

 

1. Educate yourself about your medications. 

The first step to medication safety is understanding why and how you have to take every pill.

  • Turn to your doctor and pharmacist for advice. They can help you understand the role each medication plays in helping you. They can also help you schedule your medications and inform you of any foods to avoid while taking it.
  • It’s important to ask questions and keep a list of every pill you take. Write down what your doctor or pharmacist tells you and keep it in a safe place. 

2. Check your medications at the pharmacy. 

Before you take your medicine home, take a moment to talk to your pharmacist. Cases of incorrect dosages and wrong pills are on the rise, so you want to ensure your prescription is filled correctly.

  • Check that both the dosage and type of medication are correct. The wrong pills can create a serious reaction that sends you to the hospital.

3. Know the side effects. 

By knowing the side effects of each medication, you can watch for any abnormalities in the way your body reacts to the medicine and seek help if you need to.

, Medication Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone, Dr. Nicolle

4. Know the proper storage techniques.

Some medications are highly sensitive to temperature changes while others can’t be exposed to the sun.

  • Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about storage tips for your drugs. They can recommend places in your home that will keep the medications at an opportune temperature.

5. Organize your medications carefully.

Pill organizers are a popular way to store medications at home, but you have other options.

  • You may want to consider a customized pill organizer that lists your medications’ names and other information above the compartments. You can find organizers from a variety of retailers.
  • Pill packs are an alternative to traditional plastic organizers. They’re individual packs that contain all of the pills you need to take in one day. The exterior of the pack can list the date and type of medication. They’re available from multiple pharmacies and can help you track your pills.
  • It’s crucial to have organized medications. Not only do they make it easier for you, but they also help you avoid medication errors that can cause serious harm.

6. Avoid changing your dosage on your own.

Although you may feel better, it’s important to talk to your doctor before changing a drug dosage. Changing the dosage or stopping a drug can lead to withdrawal symptoms or even health emergencies.

 

 

7. Consider the source of your medications.

Medication safety can be affected by where you purchase your prescription. Always use a reliable source.

  • If you’re purchasing your medications from online retailers, foreign pharmacies, or other sources, you may want to discuss it with your doctor. Cases of contamination and other issues are possible.
  • In addition, medications from foreign pharmacies may have instructions printed in a different language.

Take control of your medications. After all, they are there to make you feel better! You can stay safe, healthy, and confident about your medications with these easy steps and routines

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, Medication Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone, Dr. Nicolle

 

I really wanted to talk about this topic today because your natural health and wellness is important. You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of poor health, including chronic disease, so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.

 

I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some chronic diseases (if you suffer from them). In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.

 

Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

 

Stay healthy,

 

Dr. Nicolle

 

PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.

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Medication Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone

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