Medication of the elderly
Medication for the elderly
As people grow older, they often develop long-term illnesses that require medicinal treatment. Therefore, you may be taking several different medicines. When planned well, taking several medicines can be safe. You should make a list of your medication – remember to also include any over-the-counter medicine and natural remedies you use. When visiting healthcare, show the medication list to the professional treating you. With the help of the list, they can assess whether your medication is in order and whether a possible new medicine fits in your current medicinal treatment plan.
As you age, your body grows older and the effects of medicines may change. A previously suitable medicine may no longer be the best option. Even medicines that have been in use for a long time may develop new adverse effects. For the elderly, adverse effects typically include dizziness, muscle weakness, dry mouth, constipation, wooziness and tiredness. Therefore, you should monitor the effects your medication has and how you feel. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about the changes you have observed. Healthcare professionals can advise you on how to safely arrange your medication, which medicines are suitable and what is the right dose for each of them.
To make sure your medicinal treatment goes as planned, you can:
- keep an up-to-date list of your medication. Record the name, dose and purpose of the medicine in the list. In addition to prescription medicines, also include any over-the-counter medicines and natural remedicies in the list. You can write a list on paper by hand or use online templates and mobile phone programs made specially for this purpose.
- monitor your illness regularly yourself by measuring your blood pressure and blood sugar, for example. It is also important to check your weight regularly.
- visit a doctor regularly. Always give your medication list to your doctor and ask them to assess your medication as a whole. If you have adverse effects to some medicine or if the effect of the medicine has changed, please inform your doctor.
- ask for help in managing your medicinal treatment when needed. Healthcare professionals can assess your medication together. However, there is no need to assess medicinal treatment every year – it is needed only if you experience problems with your medication, or if your doctor suggests that it should be reassessed. It is therefore important to tell a doctor if you are facing problems with medicines.
- remember to renew your prescriptions in time before picking up new packages.