We offer a guide, “The Senior Good Health Journal”, which is available free at our headquarters. Please feel free to stop in anytime and pick up a free copy.
We respond daily to numerous incidents where patients have fallen or otherwise injured themselves. Often times, these calls for help are for elderly patients and may have been preventable. For more information on tips to prevent injury, please click here.
Managing the medications for yourself or a loved one can be a daunting task. With so many different drugs, different names, dosages, time of day, etc., it is frequently overwhelming.
Many visits to the emergency department are due to medication reactions, interactions, overdose or incorrectly taking pills at the wrong time.
Here are some tips to help:
- Have a “pill taking strategy”. Figure out the best plan for you or your family member to take their medications correctly and regularly. Daily “pill boxes” are available at the drug store to help pre-plan for which pills should be taken when. Work closely with your family. Make sure they understand what to do and when. Monitor their progress. Patients who are not cognizant or capable of properly taking their own medications may require additional daily help.
- Be sure you understand how, when and for how long your medication should be taken.
- Create a 1-page sheet that lists basic information including your name, date of birth, medical conditions, names of your medications and allergies. This is extremely helpful to our ambulance crews and the hospital when responding to a 911 call. Ask your doctor to assist you in creating this document, if needed.
- Be aware of any side effects of the drugs, drug interactions, what to do if you miss a dose, and how to properly store medication.
- Phone your doctor or pharmacist with any questions you have about taking your medication. Repeat the answers in your own words so there is no misunderstanding.
- Only take the exact dose of medication prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not share medication. Do not take your family member or friend’s medications.
- Do not take less than your prescribed dose.
- Follow your pill taking plan. Keep a daily record of your medications including a space to check off each dose as you take it.
- Discard old medications. Some medications lose their potency while others may become stronger over time causing them to be dangerous.
- Never take medication at night in the dark. Always turn on the light and check the label before taking any drug.
A well-rounded exercise program prepares you for an active, independent lifestyle at any age. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and other medical problems. It can also help you lose weight, reduce stress, prevent falls, sleep better, look better and feel better!
- Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
- Develop a balanced program that includes exercises for building muscle strength, developing flexibility, and increasing endurance and heart health.
- Drink water before, during and after an exercise session.
- Begin slowly and gradually, increasing exercise periods to 5-10 minutes twice a week, then to 30 minutes or more at least 5 times a week.
- Pick activities that you enjoy so that you will stick with them.
- Consider exercising to music and/or with friends.
- Make being active part of your daily life. Walk instead of ride when possible. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do active household chores.
- Dress comfortably, with appropriate shoes for each exercise.
- Before exercising, warm up muscles with slow, rhythmic activities (walking). Then, do warm-up stretches. After exercising, cool down muscles by decreasing the intensity of your exercise. Then do cool-down stretches.
- Be alert to any unusual signs while exercising or immediately afterwards, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, muscle cramps or aching joints. Stop exercising and consult your doctor if any of these occur.