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Monday, February 26, 2024

Our Voices – Medication Mindfulness

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We’ve all taken medication at some point in our lives, but the longer you live, the higher the chances you will require medication to sustain a healthy life.

Recent research suggests up to 50 percent of seniors do not take their medication properly. Why is this? Medication management can be tricky because increases in medications can lead to things like forgetting to take a dose, taking incorrect doses, unawareness of side-effects, and self-medicating to name a few.

Some other reasons why seniors might have difficulty taking medication correctly might be that the print on the bottle is too small or unclear to read, the bottle or package might be difficult to open, physical ailments that disrupt taking medications regularly, lack of information from the medical provider, or even just a worry about side effects.

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So how can we help ourselves or someone we love to manage their medication safely and effectively?

If you are a senior, review your medications with your doctor regularly, take a buddy with you to appointments, and have all medication in one place. Ask your pharmacist about potential interactions with other medications and side effects. Never try to self-medicate by adjusting medication dosages yourself. Always talk to your doctor.

If you have a loved one, help to put an organized system in place so that dosage errors are avoided. Have an up-to-date medication list, and lastly, look for sudden changes in your loved one as a cue that something may be going on with their medication.

Carpe Diem!

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Arlene Orr
Arlene Orr
Arlene Orr is a Naperville resident and member of the Naperville Senior Task Force.

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