“What Medications are You On?”

Quick reminder, whether reporting your medications to your pharmacy or doctor(s) - OR - tracking medications for your parent(s) or special needs sibling....you MUST report "over-the-counter" medications AND any herbal or supplement you may be using,  as well as prescription medication.

Why?

Here are Examples:

SURGERY and OUT-PATIENT SURGERY: Medications, like low-dose aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc. are blood thinners. If you are having out-patient surgery, or surgery, you may be asked to discontinue using these for a period before surgery. Otherwise, you might bleed more during the surgery.  Even herbal or supplements are important to report. For example, "fish oil" may be one product you cannot use right before surgery.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Do you read "prescription medication drug information sheets"? Those are the papers that come with your or your parent(s) / special needs siblings medication - these info sheets will tell you whether the medication will conflict with an over-the-counter medication.

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES: We all can feel a bit invisible - until something happens to remind us we are not. Always keep the list of medications, over-the-counter medications, herbals and supplements with you.

Medical ID:

Better yet, if you are on medications, or using herbals or supplements, consider wearing a Medical Alert bracelet or Medical Tag.

Here is Why You Want to Wear Medical Alert ID Information:

For one, if you are on-your-own and do not have a Healthcare Agent, or traveling, a Medical Alert ID can be lifesaving. If you are a head of household, parent, caregiver to people or pets, or case managing for someone, or someone's active Power of Attorney, "protecting your life" also helps stop a domino effect hurting others fast. Your life   - all life - matters! Not just to you, but also to others who depend on you.

You may want to list your blood type, online health records, and contact information.

Some examples of conditions that warrant a medical ID are:

  • Allergies to Foods, Drugs or Insects
  • Alzheimer's/Memory Impairment
  • Blood disorders
  • Blood thinners/ Anticoagulants (Coumadin/Warfarin)
  • Cardiac problems (angina, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, pacemakers)
  • Children with Special Needs
  • Clinical trial participants
  • Diabetes
  • Emphysema/Breathing disorders
  • Epilepsy/Seizure disorder
  • Hearing, sight or mental impairment
  • Hypertension
  • Kidney Failure
  • Pulmonary Conditions (Asthma/COPD)
  • Rare diseases
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Stroke risk
  • Surgery, transplant and cancer patients
  • Taking multiple medicines
  • Tourette Syndrome

Pharmacies in drugstores have information on where to buy a Medical Alert bracelet or Medical Tag.  Some bracelets open up - you put a paper list inside. My preference in case you need to change information once in awhile.

Here are a few of the online websites that also sell medical alert jewelry.

https://www.medicalert.org/product/catalog/medical-ids

https://www.americanmedical-id.com/medical-ids

 

Medical Call Alert Necklaces or Bracelets

Many times seniors and elderly wear these - but do you need one, too? If you live alone, maybe. If you travel alone, maybe. If you fall at home, or in a park jogging, how long would it take for someone to find you if you could not reach your cellphone? I knew of someone who was young and fell and broke a hip and her cellphone was just beyond reach where she could crawl to get to it. It took agonizing hours for someone to hear her calling out. What "saved her" was she fell near her door on the inside of her apartment, so eventually someone heard her and came to help. Still her door was locked and she could not get to it to unlock it.

How many of us walk around with our cellphone in our pocket or hand throughout our day, or evening at home?

"Help, I've Fallen..."

Remember, too, if you or your loved one falls, likely you, or your person may be disoriented. Sometimes, too often, when people fall they do not want to 'hit the button' - afraid it will cost more money, bother a friend or neighbor, wake someone up, etc.

If you are case managing or caregiving for someone who may be more likely to fall, strongly consider getting the type of alarm / alert that detects a fall and automatically calls for someone to come and check on the person.

Real life situation: My out-of-state 93-year old controlling father, in very good health for his age (still volunteered part-time, drove, did his own accounting), had an alert necklace. Yet, when he was released from hospital, weak from lying in a hospital bed a week (routine testing), he fell five times and was not found for about 18 hours! He was stubborn and did not want to hit the button because he did not want to bother the neighbor, wake up the neighbor, interrupt his Saturday, and a few other excuses. Bottom line, I suspect he was embarrassed he fell.  Lying in a bad position from the last fall, thankfully nothing broken, still took its toll. He went downhill fast, after another fall in hospital, and died a week later.

Which brings me to another point! If your person, or you, go into the hospital - continue to wear your alert, if possible. Why? My father fell getting out of a chair in his room. He could not reach the alert on the wall. He could not get up - he was too weak. He also kept getting tangled up in the hospital gown.

He called out, he told me, but no one heard him. Had he been still wearing his alert, he could have called the alert company, or his neighbor, who could have called the nursing station.

If you think this sounds strange, or silly, to have to call "outside" to get help "inside" the hospital, this happens a lot! Too often!

Instead, my father laid on the floor of his room for something like 6-1/2 hours before a nurse helped him. How did he get help? He was able to rip off the gown, and crawl naked out to the Nursing Station!

When I asked the nurse why he wasn't found earlier, she just said they do not do rounds often for elderly patients. They let them sleep.

....

Flash forward to another state, different issue: A friend had to call her doctor outside the hospital to find out why she was not being released when she had been told she would be going home. The doctor told her that she had signed off on the release, and the doctor called the hospital to find out why my friend, the patient, was still being held. Having phone numbers, or an alert, is really important.

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Caesi Bevis, Author / Speaker Bio

Bevis Consulting

Bevis Consulting

Principal of Bevis Consulting. I am a Futurist, Research Writer, Public Speaker, Voice Over Professional, Consultant, and Expert Witness with over 20+ years background in competitive intelligence, market research, and 13+ years in legislation research and consulting in both the U.S. and Canada. My marketing expertise in recent years includes social network and Internet marketing. I am the former President of the Canadian Business Intelligence Association. My PhD coursework is in Human Behavior Leadership, with an MBA with an International Finance focus, BBA with core courses in Marketing and AA in Advertising Design.

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