Consider colour-coding medication for seniors

The report, NUS students help seniors age well at home (March 20), is both heartwarming and notable for the possibilities it suggests.

The Community Health Angels Mentoring Programme provides a clear example of a win-win situation - the health risks of seniors taking medication wrongly are reduced, the students get to learn about real-life problems that the frail seniors face, hospitals see fewer repeat patients, and social workers spend less time dealing with non-social work issues.

The National University of Singapore pharmacy students are effective in doing what they do because the seniors trust them and they have the right credentials for handling the medication.

This is compared to befrienders, who are hesitant about touching the seniors' medication for fear of getting into trouble if they inadvertently repack the medication wrongly.

I suggest having more detailed labelling at source - perhaps having labels in the four languages, or colour coding the medication.

This would save a lot of time and effort. The volunteers can then spend more time caring for the seniors' psycho-social and emotional needs.

Chey Chor Khoon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 26, 2017, with the headline 'Consider colour-coding medication for seniors'. Print Edition | Subscribe