Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Easy Ways to Prevent Your Senior’s Medication Mistakes

If your elderly loved one takes a number of different medications, they may begin to get confused about dosage and frequency, and mistakes can occur. Even seemingly harmless mistakes put your senior at risk for health complications as a result. To keep these medication errors from occurring, consider the following tips:

Observe closely

Your elderly loved one may be making the same medication mistake over and over without realizing it, note senior care professionals. To catch these errors before they progress, you’ll want to monitor them closely. Look for signs of medication overuse, including mood swings, sluggishness, erratic behavior, and running out of medication early. 

If it’s clear that your senior is continually mixing up their daily medications, consider hiring a home care professional to come and help administer daily pills. This individual can make sure that your loved one gets the drugs they need to stay healthy, without taking too much or too little and putting their health at risk. 

Invest in a pill sorter

Your senior may make a medication mistake because the names of the drugs they take are similar, thus causing confusion. To prevent this from happening, eldercare professionals advise investing in a pill sorter. This allows you to divide up necessary daily medications in advance, thus preventing your elderly loved one from having to keep track of what’s what. Instead, they simply take all of the pills assigned to that day. This tool also prevents unintentional overdose.

Learn about how drugs interact with one another

According to people who work in home care, Asheville-Hendersonville families should be aware of any potential drug interactions. When your senior is prescribed a new medication, ask the doctor how this drug may interact with others that the elderly individual is taking. Your senior’s doctor should have a full and updated list of all of the medications that person is taking at any given time to help prevent unwanted interactions.

Home care professionals remind families that certain foods can interact with drugs too. When your senior is prescribed a new medication, ask about any foods that they should stay away from while they’re taking these drugs. You’d be surprised by some of the foods that cause a reaction, so this is something you should check on every time. 

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