Seniors are often on multiple medications, and they can contribute to the senior’s overall health. But in a medical emergency, it’s important for first responders, doctors, and anyone else involved in a patient’s care to know about those medications. This is where a medication list can be an important safety precaution. Does your loved one have a medication list? If not, then it may be time to make one.
Why Medication Lists Matter for Seniors
Medication lists are comprehensive lists that outline all of the medications that a senior takes. The list should include information such as the medication name, the dosage, and the condition that it treats. Copies of the list should be provided to any caregivers. You should also post a copy on your loved one’s fridge, then give them a copy to keep in their wallet or purse.
Once created, a medication list is a convenient document that you can take to doctor’s appointments to save you from having to write out all of the medications.
But more importantly, medication lists can be highly valuable in an emergency. Emergency personnel can rely on the detailed list, rather than having to ask your loved one to try to recall all of their medications during a stressful time. Knowing what medications a senior is taking – and what conditions they’re being used to treat – can help medical personnel to better adjust their care plan, avoiding medications that could cause reactions.
How to Create a Medication List for a Senior
It’s best to create a medication list in a Word or Excel document, so you can make changes and updates in the future. Start the document by including the senior’s name and date of birth, the words “Medication List” in bold, large text at the top, and then begin the list.
Include the following:
- Medication names
- Dosages, and when it is to be taken
- The condition the medication is prescribed to treat
- A physical description of what the medication looks like, so a caregiver could visually recognize it
- Potential side effects
- Over-the-counter medications
- Nutritional supplements
Additionally, it’s a good idea to include:
- Any medication allergies the senior has
- The names of the doctors who have prescribed the medications
You may also want to include emergency contact information, as well as contact information for your loved one’s primary care physician.
Whenever a medication dosage is changed, or a new medication is added, all you have to do is make the change in your list and then print out new copies. Be sure to replace the old copies so that you know your loved one’s medication list is complete and up to date.
Creating a medication list doesn’t take long, and updating it is simple. This one task could prove lifesaving if your loved one ever has a medical issue and isn’t able to recall their medications on their own.