Health News

January is: Be involved in your health care month. What's important to know?

Plan

  • Plan ahead for your visits by writing down the questions and concerns you want to raise. Share them with your provider at the beginning of each visit.
  • Have a family member or friend come with you to your appointment to help you, if you wish.
  • Make sure you have the name and telephone number of a person to call if you have a problem.
  • Know your medicines and why you take each one.

Communicate

  • Share your ideas and beliefs about your health problems and treatments with your provider.
  • Let your health care team know about stressful aspects of your life that affect your health and ability to manage daily activities.
  • Let your provider know the treatment options you prefer.
  • Give your treatment team accurate and complete information about:
    • Your current health problems
    • Your concerns about your health
    • Past illnesses
    • Past hospitalizations
    • Your medicines, including over-the-counter and herbals
    • Other matters related to your health
  • Speak up if you have any concerns about the care you are receiving or if you think something is wrong.
  • Ask for written information and instructions that you can keep and share with your family or caregiver.
  • Ask questions about anything that's not clear to you.

Participate

  • Participate in decisions about your health care and treatments with your provider.
  • Ask when and how you will get results of any tests or treatments.
  • Let your team know if you face any obstacles to your care or if your condition changes

Managing Medications

Here are simple ways to help keep it all straight and protect yourself and your family.

Make a list of all of your medications and their current dosages. Keep a copy in your purse or wallet and one in the home where it is easily accessible to other family members in case of an emergency. Include OTC products, vitamins and other supplements. Give a copy to a loved one or a trusted neighbor.

Update the list whenever there is a new medication or dosage change.

Get all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy, and talk to your pharmacist (as well as your doctors) about any potential adverse interactions or side effects.

Store medications in a safe place, away from children, in their original containers. Keep them in a dry, cool place as moisture and the sun can affect potency.

Never change the dosage without consulting your healthcare provider.

Having trouble remembering which pills to take when? Use a pillbox labeled with the days of the week and different times of day. Refill it once a week on the same day. If you forget to take a pill, you will know because it will still be in the box.

Set an alarm on a watch or phone if you have trouble remembering to take your medications at a certain time of day.

Pay attention to which medications must be taken with food or any other special instructions.

For more information visit:  Managing your medications

      

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