Most seniors take one or more daily medications for a variety of conditions, and keeping those medications organized can prevent them from taking the wrong pills or dosages. Here are some tips for how to help your senior loved one manag his or her medications.
Make a List
Keeping an updated list of all your loved one’s medications can help him or her stay organized. Each item on the list should include the name of the drug, the dosage amount, and the dosing frequency. It’s important to share this information with each member of your loved one’s care team to prevent overprescribing and dangerous drug interactions.
From medication reminders to basic housekeeping chores, seniors may need help with an array of activities. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable in-home care. Families trust Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age.
Do Some Research
Find out the appropriate dosage for your loved one’s medications. If the dosage seems too high, consult with your loved one’s physician. Check if any of the medications are potentially harmful. Some cardiovascular and pain medications have been deemed unsafe in recent years. Record the length of time the medications have been taken, since some medicines are only meant to be taken for a limited time.
Learn about the Side Effects
While researching medications, list the side effects each medicine might cause. If you notice changes in your loved one’s health that may be the result of medication side effects, notify the physician. If a medication doesn’t seem to be addressing the medical condition it was prescribed for, bring this issue to the physician’s attention.
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Use One Pharmacy
Ideally, all of your loved one’s prescriptions should be filled at the same pharmacy. The pharmacist can then keep a complete record of all past and current medications and alert you and the doctor to potential interactions.
Set Up Medication Reminders
Reminders can ensure your loved one doesn’t take the wrong pill or forget a dose. You can encourage him or her to try these techniques:
- Follow a routine – For example, your loved one can take medications at mealtimes or when getting up in the morning.
• Use a calendar – A schedule written on a wall calendar or chart can serve as a visual reminder.
• Use a pill organizer – A number of different organizers are available on the market. Some can even send reminders to your loved one’s phone or sound an alarm when it’s time for a dose.
Talk to the Doctor & Pharmacist
Arrange an appointment with your loved one’s doctor to review medications. Take the medication list along to ensure his or her records match yours. You might also consider doing the same with the pharmacist. Physicians and pharmacists are better able to determine possible dangers and medication interactions if they have complete lists of your loved one’s current prescriptions. You should ask the following questions about each medication:
- Why is this drug being prescribed?
• Is the dosage age appropriate?
• What are the potential side effects?
• Has the medication been identified as potentially unsafe for the elderly?
Helping a loved one with medication management can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Green Valley, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at 520-625-2050 today.