Most aging adults take more than one medication. When they don’t manage medications properly, they could mix them up and potentially experience harmful side effects. Here are a few tips on how family caregivers can help their senior loved ones manage their medications.
Keep Track of Medications
A good way to lower your loved one’s risk of experiencing harmful drug interactions and overdosing is to make and maintain a list of current medications and vitamins he or she is taking. On this list, include the dosage instructions and frequency with which your loved one takes each drug and/or supplement. Bring this list to your loved one’s next doctor visit so the physician can thoroughly check it out before prescribing any more drugs.
Seniors may need someone to take them to the doctor when needed. For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Centennial, CO, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break.
Ask the Doctor About Age-Appropriate Dosages
As seniors age, they metabolize an array of drugs differently. They can be more sensitive to some prescription and over-the-counter medications and not as sensitive to others. Seniors are also more susceptible to unpleasant side effects of many types of medications. Ask your loved one’s physician if it’s necessary to lower or decrease your loved one’s current dosage of medication.
Limit Pharmacies and Healthcare Providers
Keep the number of drugstores and doctors your loved one uses at a minimum to make it simpler to organize his or her care. The more doctors your loved one sees, the higher the risk of overmedicating. If possible, use one pharmacy to ensure your loved one receives the appropriate dosage and lessens the chances of dangerous drug interactions.
Keeping a tab on your loved one’s medications along with your own responsibilities may be difficult. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Centennial senior care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
Ask the Pharmacist Questions
If you have any concerns about the mix of medications your loved one is taking or how a new drug will affect him or her, discuss it with the pharmacist. Learn about the proper way to store your loved one’s medications, dosages he or she should take, side effects, or anything else that ensures your loved one takes medications appropriately. Also, immediately talk to your loved one’s medical provider if there is reason to believe your loved one is seriously thinking about not taking his or her medication.
Arrange for Medication Pickup or Delivery
Many seniors don’t drive, which can prevent them from picking up their much-needed prescriptions from the pharmacy. Make sure there are other family members or friends available to pick up your loved one’s medication when you can’t. Also, check if the drugstore provides a regular delivery service for prescriptions. Some Medicare Part D policies give seniors the option to receive their prescriptions through the mail.
Keep an Eye on Expiration Dates
Be mindful of when your loved one’s medications will expire, especially if he or she uses them on an as-needed basis, like pain medications. Your loved one may have had some prescriptions for a while, so it’s crucial to check the labels often. If your loved one can’t tell from the label when the medication expires, the pharmacist can check the date when the prescription was issued and if it has expired or not.
Seniors often face difficulty remembering their medicine schedule and managing their daily tasks. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Centennial home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call us at 303.957.3100 today.