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How to Reduce Medication Errors

How to Reduce Medication Errors

Nearly a quarter of all seniors make a mistake with their medications.  That mistake can be very serious if it has to do with dosage or confusion with strong medicines.  Here are some tips to prevent seniors from making dangerous medication errors:

1. Make a list. Seniors are seven times more likely to make a medication error than younger people.  Often the problem is the number of medications being taken leading to confusion.  Make a list of all the medications and their doses.

2. List the expiration dates. Many medications can degrade over time.  If it is used after the expiration date, the medication will often not have the effect that was intended.  Add the expiration dates to the list of medications.

3. List the specifics. Some medications have very specific instructions about when and how they are to be taken.  Some need to be taken with food; some need to be taken at the same time every day; some need to be taken just before bedtime.  Add to the medication list when each needs to be taken and any other instructions that are included.

4. Make a copy. Keep one copy of this list with the senior at all times for emergencies and doctor visits.  Keep the other copy with the medications.

Creating this list that will help the senior stay more organized and keep medical personnel better informed and able to treat him or her more effectively.

Source: A Place for Mom

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