Medication Management in Assisted Living
Assisted living can be a real gift and bring a whole lot of peace of mind. When you’re no longer burdened with household chores, seniors get assistance in assisted living where they need it so they have the freedom to enjoy life. Assistance with daily living activities, transportation, and many amenities and services are included in assisted living communities like ours at Solterra Senior Living.
Medication management for seniors is a critical part of those services. In this article, we will explain medication management, why it is a part of assisted living services, and how it is vital in ensuring seniors’ health and safety.
Medication Management in Assisted Living Services
Medication management for seniors is vitally important within the scope of assisted living services. For assisted living communities, it ensures that our residents get the things and the assistance they need while keeping a watchful eye on changes to their health. It’s also governed by laws that vary by state as to what it encompasses.
For assisted living communities, medication management can mean there is administration in dispensing medication, it’s monitored by staff, and records are kept. Requirements may be that staff must safely store and dispense the medication.
While this might look like a loss of independence, it’s actually a safeguard for both residents and staff alike. It helps prevent loss and the potential for someone to take more than necessary. Some residents may still be able to self-administer some medication. Assisted living services might include helping open bottles or even putting the medication in an accessible place.
There can also be requirements for recordkeeping and records administration that each community must follow, which can also apply to any over-the-counter medication. By keeping records for residents, it can prevent a lot of potential health problems and keep residents safer. Staff will often keep track and ensure prescriptions are renewed so medications don’t run out.
Medication management also includes monitoring the resident’s health and taking the medication. For some conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia and even some mental illnesses, there might be some refusal to take necessary medications. For others, there might be side effects or not needing to take medications anymore. At Solterra Senior Living, we use a technology called CarePredict, which also helps monitor our residents’ health and well-being and alerts them to changes. A compassionate staff working with the individual and their medical team is crucial for good health outcomes.
Why Medication Management is Part of Assisted Living Services
People who are considering assisted living are looking to fill a need. Perhaps that’s some help with getting dressed in the morning, or maybe having someone to take care of the maintenance and landscaping for your home? These needs can vary, but the services that assisted living provides can make it possible for seniors to live a healthy and happy life and maintain independence. When it comes to medication management, this is a service that helps define what assisted living is and helps fund some of these services through Medicaid.
Assisted living allows seniors to live independently while providing them with assistance with daily living activities (ADLs). These activities may include transferring, walking, eating, dressing, grooming, continence and toileting, and medication management. This might look like someone needing help getting out of bed in the morning because of a chronic back injury. It might also look like someone needing help with bathing and grooming because of a condition like arthritis. While people in assisted living need this help, it is not considered a nursing home level of care. This is important, especially when it comes to funding services.
Medicaid does not typically fund assisted living. However, some of the services that assisted living provides are considered medical care and are eligible for coverage. These are the assistance with daily living activities, including medication management. It’s also helpful to know that Medicaid can also cover things like physical, occupational, or speech therapy, diagnostic exams, and dental services, which can also be included in assisted living services.
Why Medication Management is Vital
Medication management is a vital part of the care that assisted living communities provide their residents. It takes away the worry of having to keep track of medications, the need for prescription renewals, and drug interactions. It also helps prevent accidental overdoses and overmedication. According to the CDC, most of the hospitalizations for older adults are due to adverse drug reactions.
Medication can have a number of side effects and adverse reactions. Even if it’s a routine medication that a person has been taking for some time, there is a potential for harm. Many seniors can be taking multiple medications at a time, also known as polypharmacy. Simultaneously taking numerous medications may require some extra monitoring, and many medications can interfere with each other. Even simple over-the-counter remedies can be harmful when combined with other medicines. Having qualified staff looking at what each resident takes can help prevent harmful situations.
Some medications can interact with food and even sunlight. These things must be monitored so staff can recommend diet or activity changes if necessary. More hydration may be required while taking certain medications, or if certain foods are being served regularly, a change to the dietary menu might be needed. Other medications might need to be taken at certain times throughout the day so that sleep isn’t affected. Medication management for seniors in assisted living can provide a much-needed safety net by keeping a watchful eye and keeping good records.
We consider it a privilege to support people in living their best life. With our caring and compassionate staff, we offer a vibrant and active lifestyle at an affordable price. We invite you to contact us on our website for a tour and enjoy one of our chef-prepared meals in our community. Come see what we’re all about.