Medication Management: Tips for Seniors & Caregivers

Posted by: Maryellen McKeon, Senior Vice President of Operations

Medication Management TipsDear Maryellen,

My father is my mom’s caregiver. Due to a variety of health issues my mother takes several different medications daily. My father manages all the meds. He calls in the prescriptions, fills the pill organizer and administers. With so many medications it can be very confusing. Can you offer some advice on how to better manage all these meds?

-Cynthia, Massapequa Park, NY

Dear Cynthia,

Medication Management is a big responsibility and can be overwhelming especially when there’s more than one prescription. Medication errors are far too common among the elderly. There’s no surprise when you consider the number of drugs an individual takes. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 76 percent of adults over age 60 take at least two prescription drugs, and 37 percent use five or more. As your mother’s caregiver, your dad is juggling quite a bit. Reigning in this area will be a tremendous help to both of your parents.

The FDA suggests these five tips to avoid mistakes:

1. Know the names of the drugs.

2. Ask questions about how to use them.

3. Know what the drugs are treating.

4. Read labels & follow all directions.

5. Keep a list of all the medications.

For a more in-depth look at these tips go to U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Cynthia, you’re making a wise choice to get involved. I’m sure your parents appreciate it.

Maryellen McKeon


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Over the course of more than thirty years, Maryellen has distinguished herself in the field of Assisted Living, and has maintained a particular focus on enhancing operations in Independent and Enriched Housing Management. At times, Maryellen has simultaneously overseen over 29 communities throughout the Northeast. She was awarded Administrator of the Year in 1990 by the Empire State Association – being recognized for upholding quality care, compassion and high professional standards – and has become a visible and respected authority in the field. Throughout her tenure with the Association, she has also co-chaired its Assisted Living Services Committee along with its Conference Committee. Maryellen joined Engel Burman in 2001 and helped establish Ultimate Care NY, LLC, the team responsible for the development, construction and daily management of twelve upscale Assisted Living communities grouped under the well-known and highly respected name of The Bristal. A committed advocate and sought after speaker for the cause of senior living issues, Maryellen has served on the Board of ESAAL (Empire State Association of Assisted Living) since 2002, and today, she continues to play high-profile roles in many of the Association’s most important initiatives and influential committees.