Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Why Seniors Need a Backup Medicine Supply

Be prepared! Emergencies happen. Last summer, the CareLinx Team touched on emergency preparedness checklists, but this week's DailyCaring article really details why and how to have a handy backup supply of medications. Several members of our team are members of CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) and participate in emergency preparedness drills. Each drill includes volunteer "victims" playing the role of dazed and lost citizens that have no identifying information on them and/or not having the medication they need. 

Why Seniors Need a Backup Medicine Supply


Skipping medication is dangerous for seniors
Most seniors are on multiple medications to manage symptoms from chronic conditions. Skipping one or more doses can have serious consequences that could make them ill or land them in the hospital. Normally, you make sure they take their pills every day so bad things won’t happen.

But what happens if they can’t get a refill on time?


Emergency medication supply
If your older adult has extra medicine on hand as a backup supply, nobody needs to worry if something makes getting a refill impossible. This tip saves you from panic, headache, and anxiety! Having extra medicine also saves trouble if your older adult needs a travel supply.

Many things could make getting an on-time prescription refill difficult or impossible. Here are a few common situations:
      A severe snow storm, thunderstorm, or flooding makes going out unsafe.
      You have the flu and are too sick to leave the house.
      The pharmacy is temporarily out of stock of that medication.
      There’s a glitch in the system and insurance won’t cover the pills until things get straightened out...next week.

DailyCaring Tip: Keep a close eye on the extra medicine or keep it with you to make sure nobody else can help themselves to things like painkillers.


Get extra medicine for free
It won’t cost anything extra to build up a backup medication supply!

Not everyone knows this, but most insurance companies (including Medicare) allow you to get a refill in 25 days, not 30 like you might think. The pharmacist will be able to tell you the soonest date you can get a refill under your senior’s insurance plan.

Picking up a refill 5 days earlier builds up an extra medication supply because you’re shortening the time between refills. That means you’ll have extra pills left over each month.


How does this work?
If your senior’s prescription is for 30 pills each month, you’ll have 4 pills left over each month when you pick up their refill 5 days early. Those extra pills add up fast! In 7 months or so, you’ll have a full month’s supply on hand as backup.


Bottom line
You never know what’s going to happen in life. Being prepared saves time, energy, anxiety, and sometimes even money. Help your senior build up a stash of backup medicine so nobody has to panic or suffer negative consequences when getting to the pharmacy is impossible.


By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Albany IVF


Caring for an older adult? Visit DailyCaring.com for tips on how to handle day-to-day challenges. It’s free, there’s fresh advice every weekday, and we keep things brief.




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