Medication Adherence: 5 Strategies to Stick to Your Medication Routine
Following your medication routine (known as medication adherence) means taking medications as prescribed – the right dose, at the right time, and in the right way. Non-adherence can lead to serious complications, even death. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 125,000 deaths in the United States are due to medication non-adherence. Further statistics show that medication non-adherence accounts for $100 to $300 billion spent each year for both direct and indirect health care costs.
Forgetting to take medications can happen to anyone once in a while. However, if it happens more frequently, it’s time to take action. Lowenhill Home Care Services lists some strategies to help improve your medication adherence, including:
- Tie taking your medications with a daily routine. Think about some of the routines that you have. Do you drink coffee in the morning? Do you read the newspaper at a particular time? Whatever routine you have, tie taking your medications with it. This will help make it easier for you to remember taking your medications.
Note: If you plan to take your medications during mealtime, make sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist if the medication should be taken on an empty or full stomach.
- Pill boxes. There are various types of pill boxes, some with daily, weekly, or even monthly containers. Some pill boxes even have morning, noon, and evening compartments so that you can segregate your medications according to what time they should be taken each day. Can’t remember if you already took your medication? Just double-check your pill box – if for example, the noon compartment is empty then that means you were able to drink it. If it’s not, then it means that you missed your dose for that time.
- Set electronic reminders. Your mobile phone isn’t just good for texting or calls; you can use it as an alarm too! Set appropriate reminders for when you should take your medications. You can also use other devices, such as tablets, alarm clocks, reminder watches, and more.
Note: Not a big fan of electronic devices? You can still set reminders by writing your medication schedule on a board situated in a visible location, post-it reminders, and other methods.
- Talk to your family and friends. If you are living with a family member, you can ask them to remind you when it’s time to drink your medications. If you live alone, you can still ask your family and friends to call or text you with timely reminders.
- Talk to your pharmacist. Many pharmacies now offer compliance or blister packaging to improve medication adherence. Blister packs are similar to pill boxes; however, your medications are packaged and sealed into monthly cards. Another service offered by pharmacies is automatic prescription refills. While this isn’t a daily reminder, it can help you in the sense that, even if you forget to stop by the pharmacy to refill your medications, you no longer have to worry since the pharmacy will automatically do it for you.
Influenza Vaccination Week: Key Facts You Should Know
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 960,000 people were hospitalized during the 2017-2018 season. While flu activity in the United States is now low, it is expected to pick up in the upcoming weeks.
In honor of Influenza Vaccination Week this December 8, Lowenhill Home Care Services lists some important flu vaccine facts that you should keep in mind:
What is the flu?
Also known as influenza, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness which is caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. The Flu is different from a cold. People who get the flu often get some or all of these symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Muscle or body aches
- Stuffy or runny nose
Note: Not everyone with flu may have a fever. Also, some people may experience diarrhea and vomiting but this is more common in children than adults.
Why is it important?
Most people experience a mild illness when they get the flu. However, in some cases, it can be serious – and even deadly. Serious flu-related complications are more likely to occur in babies and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic conditions.
To lower your chances of getting the flu, getting vaccinated each year is highly important. Remember, getting the flu vaccine doesn’t just protect you – it protects the people around you too. So, when you and your family get a flu vaccine, you are keeping yourselves and your community healthy.
Who are at risk?
Everyone, even healthy people, can get sick with the flu. Serious flu-related complications can affect people of all ages; however, some people are at a higher risk of developing serious complications. This includes seniors (aged 65 years and older), pregnant women, children below 5 years old, and people of any age with certain chronic health conditions.
Are there any side effects from the flu vaccine? What are they?
Any vaccine can cause side effects – and this is true for flu vaccines as well. For the most part, flu vaccine side effects are mild and can go away in a few days. Some of its side effects include:
- Upset stomach
- Redness, pain, or swelling (at the injection site)
Note: This is NOT the flu – the flu vaccine can’t cause the flu.
While serious side effects from the flu vaccine are rare, there’s a small chance that serious reactions can occur. In such cases, make sure to talk to your doctor immediately.
Keep these facts in mind and stay safe during the flu season. Remember, getting the flu shot doesn’t just protect you – it protects your loved ones and community too. If you haven’t had your flu shot yet for this year, make sure to get it soon!
5 Must-Know Tips in Caring for Bedridden Patients
You do not have to be a bedridden patient too to know that their situation is extremely challenging. Not being able to move freely (plus having concurrent health complications) can really plunge you into despair. Helplessness might consume you and the negative spiral would continue. If someone you love is in this terrible state, you can do something to help.
Caring for bedridden patients is not a simple task. It will require commitment, hard work, and most of all, compassion. If you do not have the sufficient knowledge and skill to render them proper assistance, this post will educate you with the basics!
Here are simple tips you can try when supporting immobile patients:
- Keep a sharp eye on their personal hygiene.
The lack of proper hygiene invites destructive elements to infiltrate the body. And since bedridden patients usually have weak immune systems due to inactivity, germs and viruses will not have any trouble coming in. Ideally, patients should be given sponge baths daily. Also, their diapers must be checked thoroughly, especially after a few hours of feeding.
- Change their position often.
What happens if bedridden patients are allowed to stay in the same position all day long? They will be injured. The weight of the body against the skin and the underlying tissues will produce what is called as pressure sores. If unattended, the injury could cause unimaginable pain and discomfort to the patients. Stationed caregivers must remain vigilant.
- Create a healing environment.
Medicines and therapies are not the only factors that help patients recover. Countless studies had already proven that peaceful, organized, and clean environments help hasten the recovery process. On the contrary, if what surrounds the patients are negative elements (e.g. violence), health deterioration usually follows. Though unconscious and immobile, the patients can still subconsciously sense emotional surges, both good and bad.
- Strictly impose a balanced diet.
Firstly, get the experts’ opinion on what foods should the patients have. After which, know the specific proportions that must be given. Usually, these foods are served at timed intervals. Feeding them the right food at the right time not only promotes proper nourishment but also assists the effectivity of some medications.
- Do not be afraid to express your affections.
True. They are no longer as responsive as they were before. However, your communication with them is not totally cut off. Feel free to have chats with them. Let them know that you are always there for them no matter what. Be their strength and life support system.
Your love for your sick relatives is immeasurable, but the time you can spend with them is limited. Do not be guilty if you cannot always stay at their side. When you are not available, Lowenhill Home Care Services can take over! The members of our professional team are always ready to be of service.
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Win Against Insomnia! 5 Life Hacks to Get Better Sleep at an Advanced Age
One of the secrets to staying healthy as a senior is making sure that we get enough sleeping hours. However, as we grow old, our quality of sleep becomes harder to maintain. Counting hundreds or thousands of sheep in our heads before we sleep may no longer help. According to experts, it will be ideal if we incorporate minor but significant lifestyle adjustments.
As a non-medical home care service provider for quite some time now, our team at Lowenhill Home Care Services has noticed that one of the biggest complaints our clients have about their health is insomnia. If you have experienced this problem before, it is undeniable that the consequences can really get irritating.
Win against this sleeping disorder! These health hacks might provide some help:
- Organize your sleeping area.
Sleeping is a delicate action. If too many distractions are around, achieving a sound and deep sleep would be almost impossible. Start by getting rid of what is unnecessary. Excessive accessories and other gadgets will only minimize the actual area and contribute to visual distortion. Keep in mind that the sleeping space must exude an aura of serenity and relaxation.
- Stick to a sleeping schedule.
The human body selects and adopts a certain sleeping schedule. If it cannot, confusion occurs. And in that confusion, insomnia may be triggered. To get out of this misery, make a timetable of when to go to bed and when to wake up. Also, avoid having naps during the active hours. This has the tendency to disrupt the flow of sleep during nighttime.
- Get involved in fun activities.
After retirement, we are usually left with nothing else to do. This alters our wake and sleep cycle. To implement tip number two, try to find highly engaging activities. The possibilities are endless! Keep in mind also that it is never too late to experience something new at an advanced age.
- Exercise as often as recommended.
In addressing sleep issues, exercise is highly essential. One, it aids in keeping the physical system under normal conditions. Meaning, physical activities help reduce (if not entirely eliminate) factors that disturb healthy sleep. Secondly, exercising tires the body out. As we all know, rest is the body’s natural response to fatigue.
- Consult your doctors.
Some medicines prescribed to treat our other health conditions can cause restlessness. But since these medications are needed for our survival, it is dangerous to stop taking them. The better thing to do is have a word with the experts. Mostly, they would adjust the medication schedule or prescribe other drug variants.
Medications are not the only solutions available to treat insomnia. You just need to explore and find alternative options. Who knows? The best technique for you is just around the corner. And if you need non-medical home care support, Lowenhill Home Care Services is always here for you! Simply subscribe to our Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.
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