Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Helping your Aging Parent Manage their Medication

Medication is a common concern for families when seniors are living on their own. You may wonder if they’re remembering to take it, are taking too little or too much, and how it is affecting them. Seniors often take multiple medications to manage their health and they may lose track of what they are taking or why. Not taking prescriptions correctly can be dangerous to their health and wellbeing. Here are some ways that you can be proactive in helping them to keep their medications under control:

Keep a comprehensive list. Know exactly what medication your aging parent is taking, how much, when it should be taken, how it should be taken, and – what some people may overlook – why it is being taken. This list will come in handy for several reasons:

  • Take it to doctor appointments so that if questions arise, you have an accurate record of what prescriptions your loved one is taking. You can also discuss with the doctor if something seems off.
  • Should an emergency arise, you can quickly let paramedics or ER doctors know what medications your senior is on. While this information is available in their medical records, it never hurts to have a list with you for immediate reference.
  • By knowing why they are on each medication, you can compare to see if there are any duplications. They may not need to be on as many drugs if some have similar uses.

Know the side effects. Not everyone responds the same to different medications. This will help you identify any troubling symptoms. Contact the doctor right away if you notice changes, especially if they are taking a toll on your parent’s wellbeing. The doctor can assess the situation and change the medication or dosage if necessary.

Set up a system. There are a wide variety of pill cases and reminders available. Figure out what works best for your loved one to remind them to take their medicine. Maybe simply separating the medication by morning and evening for each day is enough, or perhaps setting a reminder on their phone is more effective. An in-home care provider can also ensure they are taking their medications correctly and provide gentle reminders.

Stick with the same pharmacy. Get all of their prescriptions filled at one location. This can reduce the risk of overprescriptions or harmful interactions. You can also build a rapport with the pharmacist and staff and ask questions about any concerns you may have. It also makes it easier for you to make sure you have each prescription because they are all in one location. Along the same lines, seeing the same doctors or specialists can help as well because they will be more familiar with your loved one’s health and they often work together to coordinate care.

Work together with your aging parent to ensure they are taking their medication properly and that it is working correctly. If anything seems off, talk to the doctor so that it can be addressed quickly and efficiently. If you’re concerned about your loved one taking their medication, an in-home caregiver from Always Best Care can give you more peace of mind. They will go to your parent’s Asheville home and provide care aligned with their needs, including medication management. Call (828) 989-7263 or visit us online to schedule a consultation today.

No comments:

Post a Comment