Assisted living and residential care residents often move into a community directly from their home. While living at home many of our residents managed their own medications or received minimal assistance from a family member. Over the years the volume of medications in their possession can quickly build up as residents saw multiple physicians, purchased over-the-counter medications, and failed to dispose of discontinued medications.
The so-called “brown bag” medication review can be a useful tool when evaluating the medication regimen of a resident prior to move-in, as well as when evaluating current residents who self-store their medications. When conducting a brown bag medication review the resident is asked to bring all of their medications with them to an appointment–literally in a brown bag if necessary–rather than simply a list of medications. This technique can help to ensure that providers are aware of all medications a resident is taking, including the vitamins, OTCs, and supplements that some residents may forget about when create a list.