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.
Are you interested to know more about us and what else we can offer? Please check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
We welcome your response, reactions, and suggestions! If you have any, please use the intended comment box below.
The Basic Things You Should Know About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is considered one of the main causes of fatalities among women. Although breast cancer can also develop in men, it is more prevalent in women. Here are the basic things you should know about this condition:
Causes and Risk Factors
Many scientists widely believe that breast cancer is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. However, there is no single identifiable cause for the condition. There are risk factors, though, that can increase the chances of a person to get breast cancer.
These risk factors include:
- being female
- getting older in age
- having a personal history or family history of breast cancer
- being obese
- being exposed to radiation through radiation treatment
- starting the menstrual period before reaching 12 years old
- starting menopause at an older age
- giving birth to a first-born after 30 years old
- never having been pregnant
- going through post-menopausal hormone therapy
- consuming alcohol
It is important to take note that many of those who have multiple risk factors never develop breast cancer. On the other hand, those who have no known risk factors, except being female, may develop this particular condition.
The following are symptoms of possible breast cancer:
- An inverted nipple
- Change in the shape, size or appearance of one or both breasts
- Changes in the skin surrounding the breasts
- A breast lump
- Crusting, flaking, peeling, or scaling of the skin area surrounding the nipple
If you find any of these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately for further tests. Detecting breast cancer as early as possible can help save lives.
Reducing Your Risk of Getting Breast Cancer
Anyone can do something to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Most of these actions revolve around lifestyle changes and constant health monitoring. You can follow these tips:
- Strive to live a healthy lifestyle. These include eating nutritious meals and being physically active. A healthy lifestyle will also help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid any vice including smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
- Talk to your physician about the possible side effects of post-menopausal hormone therapy. Check if such therapy can be limited in duration.
- Consult your doctor about undergoing breast cancer screening, especially if you have a high risk of developing the condition.
At Lowenhill Home Care Services, we always make sure to lend a helping hand if you are in need of assistance at home, no matter what condition you may have. We’ll conduct an assessment to determine your specific needs, so call us today.
5 Easy Cures for Sleep Difficulty at Night
People always have issues in going to sleep, especially during nighttime. It is essential for people to get enough rest and sleep at night. It is the only way for our body and mind to take a rest and slow down after thinking and working all day. One of the things that could be an issue in rooting for sleep are the routines we do throughout the day and the things we do before bed.
Here are some tips and tricks to curing difficulty in sleeping at night:
- Stretch your muscles a bit. Stretch your arms and legs. Make a soft twist with your back and hips. It is good to loosen up your muscles before going to bed. It helps you get comfortable and finding the perfect position to help you sleep. It also makes you feel sleepier when you stretch because the muscles are no longer tight and strut.
- Drink two glasses of water to hydrate before going to bed. It is also helpful in sustaining oxygen for the muscles and the mind. It sooths the nerves, inducing better sleep at night. That is why do not skip on the hydration before sleeping at night. People usually skip drinking water before bed because of the stress of a productive day. It is best not to underestimate the help of drinking glasses of water before bed because it is also good for the heart while you sleep.
- Make sure the room is de-cluttered to keep your thoughts calm. When there are too many things all over the place, it also clutters the mind. It is important to keep the place neat and tidy for a peaceful mind. When there are not much things on your mind, you are calmer and more susceptible to falling asleep faster.
- Before going to bed, make sure you have done everything you need to do. It is also a way of de-cluttering your mind. Make sure you do not have work to do or chores to complete. You will feel bothered and anxious if you do not make use of the hours before bedtime. Always be productive and complete your goals for the day as much as you can, to fight the anxiety when night falls.
- Sleep, however, you find comfortable. It is good to have discipline but sometimes, disciplining yourself to certain sleeping habits may not be fit for you. Get comfortable. If you need more pillows, get more pillows. If you need a better blanket, do it. If you need a dimmer light and a less noisy place, make sure you achieve it. Sleep is important always – make sure you get enough rest always.
Lowenhill Home Care Services has your best interest in mind. We always aim to serve you the home care services that will help your well-being at all cost. Visit us now and set an appointment!