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Medication Safety for Older Adults

A Care Manager's Role in Medication Safety for Older Adults

From the moment your Care Manager meets you or your loved one, they begin assessing the situation in front of them. Care Managers have been taught to do that from the start of their career, so it becomes a natural response. They have seen loved ones struggle time and again with all of the new medications on the market and medication changes that doctors often call for in their patients.

Various medications in their packaging on a table

In a world where medications are abundant and available to most everyone that needs them, why are so many medication errors occurring?

Medication education should go hand-in-hand when prescribing treatments. The importance of correct medication dosage and one-on-one education for the patient is vital to the patient's health. So who is supposed to do the educating? The doctor that prescribed it, the pharmacists that fill it, or the family member that is supposed to monitor it? This is where Care Management comes in!

Medication Education for Seniors

Care Managers are crucial in the medication safety for older adults. Many clients want to “self medicate,” and no, this is not referring to pain or anxiety medications. In many cases, clients want to decide when they should take their daily medications prescribed by their doctor according to "how they are feeling.” This can be detrimental to their health. It isn't completely your loved one's fault, though.

The education process happens so quickly, whether in the doctor's office or at pharmacy, they get a 2 minute "consult" about their new medications. Because of that, they truly don’t understand the importance of building doses up in the body to achieve maximum effect, therefore they often end up missing out on the expected outcome.

At Home Medication Management

One of a Care Manager’s roles, along with may others, is to provide education for each of their client's medications. They are to ensure the client, as well as their family members, are actually listening to them and all who are involved understand the importance of each and every medication that they are taking. This, along with monitoring our client for compliance, prevents your loved one from missing or skipping doses of their medications, because they "don't feel like they need it today."

Most Care Managers use the method of having their clients repeat back to them what they teach. This provides insight to our clients, assessing if they are capable of remembering what they hear, and if they are able to repeat what they hear. In some cases, Care Managers ensure that clients are able to read the labels on their medication bottles, so that they are taking their regimen as directed. The relationship developed with clients is so important because they trust their Care Manager not to "judge" them which allows them to be open with them. A Care Manager's main goal is to keep clients as independent as possible! One way they do that is by ensuring clients understand and follow through with their medications.

If you are interested in learning more about CAB's Care Management services, contact us today!


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