Buy Now
Blog
Stories

Talking to Loved Ones About Medication Management

According to Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center researchers, nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription medication, more than half take two, and 20 percent take five or more. And medication management isn’t something that should be taken lightly. According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report, nonadherence to prescribed medications is associated with higher rates of hospital admissions, suboptimal health outcomes, increased morbidity and mortality, and even increased health care costs. Furthermore, among filled prescriptions, approximately 50% are taken incorrectly, particularly with regard to timing, dosage, frequency and duration.

That is a scary statistic for patients, but also for those who care for them. If nonadherence becomes more frequent, and consequently more dangerous, it might be time to have a conversation about solutions. It’s a tough one to have, but here are some tips for getting started.

Be honest

First and foremost, be honest with your loved one. Make sure they understand that you’re coming from a place of love and caring, and in no way does the conversation imply that you don’t trust them or think they’re incapable of independence. It’s quite the opposite, actually – simply make it clear that your goal is to help facilitate their independence and make their life a little bit easier.

Make it a 50/50 conversation

As you dive into the conversation, make sure it’s a two-way street. Taking over the conversation and talking at them can feel belittling – making them defensive and resistant, and ultimately making it more difficult for them to buy into the idea of assistance.

Instead, work together to come up with a game plan that works for everyone. Offer your initial thoughts and then listen while they share their questions, concerns and other ideas. Creating a collaborative environment will make them feel much more comfortable with the idea and ensure a smooth transition into the new routine.

Overcommunicate

When it comes to a discussion like this one, it’s best to overcommunicate. Ambiguity leads to confusion and confusion can lead to reluctance. So, when you sit down with your loved one to go over their medication management, make sure you’re going in-depth.

You’ll want to talk about the ins and outs of their current medication routine so you can understand each and every step in the process. Then you’ll want to discuss any specific challenges that come along with it. Whether they forget to take the medication or it’s difficult for them to tell the pills apart, you need to know what the issues or pain points are so you can help find a way to fix them.

Once the conversation is coming to a close, it’s important to recap everything you discussed to ensure all parties are on the same page. And if your loved one shows even the slightest bit of confusion, spend the extra time going over that portion again. A successful medication management program will only work when your loved one understands the process and expectations.

Talk about medication management devices

A medication management device may seem complicated, but it can actually let your love one maintain their independence. Plus, with a variety of options on the market, you’ll be sure to find one that’s right for their – and your – needs.

So again, take the time to walk through your loved one’s routines and preferences to determine which options are best for them. The easier it is for them to maintain, the more likely it is they will keep up with their new process.

See All Posts