Medication Management in Home Care Settings: A Brief Guide

10 mins read

Home care is an indispensable aspect of the health care system that provides individuals with long-term support and services, allowing them to remain in their homes instead of being placed in nursing facilities or hospitals. 

Medication management is one of the most crucial components of in-home care because it enables the proper execution of treatment plans for various patients. To learn more about this topic, this article provides an overview of medication management, including its advantages in in-home care, as well as important tips on how to manage medications properly at home.

Home Care Services

Home care services like can help you or your loved one remain independent in your own homes for as long as possible. Home care also assists with daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, and cooking. Home care services can help people with a variety of conditions and situations, including:

  • Older individuals who are experiencing the effects of aging. These include memory loss, decreased mobility, and other physical limitations.
  • Older adults who are transitioning into retirement homes or assisted living facilities.
  • People recovering from accidents, injuries, surgeries, or illnesses that prevent them from being able to perform daily tasks on their own.
  • Individuals who need assistance in monitoring the effects of their medications and understanding how to take them as directed. They are those with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.

Medication Management: What Is It? 

One of the greatest advantages of in-home care is medication management. It refers to the process of ensuring that your loved one is taking their medications as prescribed, including the proper dosage administered at the right time, and in the right form. Medication management is important because it can help prevent medical complications that might necessitate hospitalization or admission to another healthcare facility. 

Benefits of Medication Management in Home Care

In-home care setup comes with several benefits that help in recovery, maintenance, and improvement of patients’ overall quality of life. Specifically, the following benefits come with an in-home care setup:

  • Happier Patients And Families: Knowing that their loved ones receive their medications on time gives families peace of mind. Meanwhile, the patients gain confidence in their ability to achieve their healthcare objectives as a result.
  • Less Expensive: The incidence of emergency situations brought on by improper medication administration, which results in hospital costs, is reduced. Families will spend less on gas, car insurance and other expenses involved with driving their loved ones back and forth from doctor appointments. 
  • Increased Patient Independence: Moreover, medication management allows seniors to continue living in their own homes, which can be more comfortable and familiar. It makes it easier for them to avoid the stress of adjusting to a new environment and maintain their independence.

Consequences of Inadequate Home Medication Management

Inadequate home medication management is among the most common challenges and concerns of in-home treatment setups. Studies show that nonadherence to proper medication management results in several medical complications, including the following:

  • Rehospitalization
  • Symptoms relapse
  • Reduced treatment effectiveness
  • Added healthcare costs and increased resource wastage
  • Poor quality of life

These findings reinforce the critical role of proper medication management in home care settings.

Tips On Proper Medication Management

Now that you know the advantages of medication management, it’s time to learn some tips on how to approach it correctly in order to maintain the health and well-being of your loved ones. Here are five helpful points to consider: 

  1. Everyone Involved Should Be Well-Informed

If you’re working with a home care provider, make sure they are aware of any changes in medication delivery and timing. They should also be able to explain how the medications work and why one dose may be more effective than another at certain times of day or night.

Also, remember that your loved one will likely need help from other professionals. For example, a doctor may prescribe drugs, a nurse practitioner may oversee their prescription plan, and advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) may monitor blood glucose levels and vital signs throughout the day.   

Everyone involved must understand who does what and when so that everyone has enough time for each task without interrupting each other’s schedule at home or work.

  1. Establishing Routines Keeps You On Track

Routines are a way for everyone in your home to remember what needs to be done so that your loved ones can take their prescriptions properly and on time. 

Regular habits will also make it easier for caregivers or family members to assist in the administration of medication since they have already been trained on how things should be done consistently.

  1. Proper Nutrition And Hydration Is Key

You can guarantee your loved one gets the most out of their medications by focusing on proper nutrition and hydration. Your loved one should eat a nutritious diet low in salt, sugar, saturated fat and cholesterol. They should also get plenty of vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods.

Water is essential for digestion; it helps cells function properly and keeps them clean, so they don’t get sick easily. If your loved one doesn’t drink enough water daily, taking medications could lead to side effects like nausea or vomiting. The ideal approach is to know how much water they need to drink based on age.

  1. Careful Record-Keeping Keeps You Abreast of Changes

Careful record-keeping helps everyone stay abreast of changes in your loved one’s health. It also enables you to identify any possible issues that may arise while administering medications. 

A medication log is a great way to keep track of the medications your loved one takes, the dosages they are given, and any side effects they experience. It’s also an excellent tool for identifying potential health problems with your loved one.

What should go into the log? You can include the following:

  • The name of each medication (overdose), including common brand names and generic equivalents.
  • The dosage taken every day or at least weekly, including how much time has passed since the last dose.
  • Any changes in dosage frequency or timing (e.g., fewer than four times per day; increased frequency).
  1. Understanding The Impacts Of Certain Medications Is Necessary

The side effects of the medications may affect your aging loved one’s health or comfort. It’s important to understand these medications and how they work so you can manage them effectively.

Here are some vital points to remember:

  • Some medications interact with other drugs or foods, called drug-drug interactions (DDIs). For example, if your loved one takes an antidepressant along with another antidepressant, their body may become resistant to both drugs at once because of the increased levels of one or both drugs being taken together in their system.
  • Some medications can only be used during certain hours because they require time-release capsules that dissolve slowly over time while they’re inside the body. 
  • Some medications work best when mixed with food. For example, yogurt smoothies containing vitamin C helps absorb iron better. 

Final Thoughts

Medication management is important for all aging adults, but it can be particularly crucial for those who have serious medical conditions. In some instances, taking medications may be the only way to manage symptoms or prevent complications. This brief guide and tips provide you with the basic knowledge and information for effective medication management in home care settings. 

About the author: Adeline Williams 

Adeline Williams is a consultant pharmacist who primarily writes about scientific discoveries relating to drugs and developments in chemistry and pharmacy. She has also contributed to the creation of new care delivery models, particularly for patients receiving care in homes.

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