As you enter our golden years, there’s a lot you need to know about prescription drugs. From health insurance coverage to how to safely incorporate your medications into your changing lifestyle, make sure you’re prepared for everything thrown your way.
While we now have more prescriptions to help seniors live their lives normally, this also introduces new challenges. In this guide, we’ll help you navigate everything you need to know about drug prescriptions for seniors. Whether you’re entering your retirement years or helping a loved one, follow this guide.
Medicare Drug Coverage
This wouldn’t be a drug prescription guide for seniors without talking about Medicare. Medicare is a federal program for those 65 and over, and it’s a way to make health insurance more affordable in retirement. It’s a great program, but it’s also confusing at times.
Medicare is broken into 4 parts, Parts A, B, C, and D. Part D is the prescription drug coverage, so this is what we’ll be focusing on. There are two main ways to get prescription drug coverage with Medicare:
- Medicare Part D – The first option is to choose a plan through Original Medicare with Medicare Part D. You’ll need to purchase this plan during your initial enrollment to avoid a penalty for being late.
- Medicare Advantage Plan – Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is when you purchase your insurance through a private provider. There are any Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage, and you can view these options at HealthMarkets.
Before you enroll in a drug plan through either Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage, make sure you consider your coverage choices. Every year, these plans will offer different coverage for different prescriptions. You can change your plan every year, so always compare the costs to find the best value for you.
How Medications Change as You Age
While medications don’t change as you get older, the way your body responds to them certainly does. It’s recommended to always be honest with your doctor about what you’re currently taking and how’s it’s affected you in the past.
Unexpected or unwanted symptoms are known as side effects, and these can be particularly unusual in aging people. Things that might not have affected you in the past might be more severe now, and that’s just something to keep in mind. If you discover any unwanted side effects with a certain prescription drug, talk to your doctor about changing brands or dosage.
How to Keep Track of Medications
One of the biggest challenges of aging is keeping track of your new medications. If you’re taking several medications at once, you need a plan for keeping track of them in an organized way. Failing to keep track could be risky, especially if you end up taking the wrong dosage or missing a dose altogether.
Here are some tips for keeping track accurately and easily:
- Make a list – Start with a list of all medications and supplements you take, including the name, how much you take, and how frequently. Keep this list somewhere you can easily access.
- Beware expiration dates – It’s easy to forget when medications expire. Keep this information on your list as well to make sure you’re using your medications safely.
- Set reminders – Don’t forget a dosage by setting daily reminders. You can easily do this on your phone.
- Turn on a light – Finally, never take medicines in the dark. You might make a mistake.
Staying Safe with Prescriptions
Many seniors get in accidents and sticky situations because of prescription drugs. Always make sure you’re being responsible and using your drugs as intended, even if it means taking extra precautions.
Additionally, take the time to educate yourself about the best drug coverage options for your needs. It’s easier than you think to find the right plan, and you deserve treatment you can afford.
Latest posts by Joao Vasconcelos (see all)
- Drug Prescriptions for Seniors: Everything You Need to Know - July 9, 2019
Joao is a health and fitness enthusiast and creator of one of the leading fitness blogs in Brazil. With a unique focus on weight loss, Joao is an advocate of functional fitness training and has his own line of natural weight loss juices.
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