Many older adults take multiple prescription medicines every day. When they aren’t taken correctly, they may not be effective in treating medical conditions and they can even be dangerous. Family caregivers are invested in keeping their aging family members as healthy as possible and safe from prescription mishaps. Following these 6 prescription medication tips can help.
#1: Get a Medication Check Up
At least once a year take a list of the medications your aging relative is using to their doctor. Include on the list prescription drugs, over the counter medicines, and supplements on the list. Also, write down the instructions for taking the medicine and the dosages. Ask the doctor to review the list for any drug interactions, medicines that are no longer necessary, and any other issues. Don’t have time to make a list? Toss all the bottles in a bag and take them to the doctor for review.
#2: Ask Questions
Each time your older family member gets a new medicine, ask the doctor some questions. Find out:
• What the drug is for and what it is supposed to do.
• The correct pronunciation of the drug name (this can help if you have to tell a medical provider about the senior’s medications).
• How the drug should be taken.
• Whether the drug should be taken with or without food, and any other important instructions.
#3: Keep Track of Refills
Medications for chronic illnesses must be refilled regularly and you don’t want to run out. If you keep a calendar especially for your aging relative, write down when prescriptions need to be refilled. Or, set a reminder in your smartphone. Be sure to have the drug refilled at least a few days before it will run out. Also, be aware of how many refills are left before the senior needs to see the doctor again.
#4: Give the Pharmacist a Medication List
Many pharmacies maintain a list of medications for their customers. This can help to spot drug interactions when a new prescription is filled. When you compile the older adult’s medication list for their doctor, give a copy to the pharmacist, too.
#5: Ask Elder Care to Help with Reminders
One problem that many seniors have with their medications is remembering to take them. Post a copy of your aging relative’s medication schedule where it is easily accessible. Ask the older adult’s elder care provider to remind the senior when it is time for them to take medicine. Sometimes elderly people accidentally take too much medicine because they’ve forgotten they already took it. An elder care provider can also watch to make certain that does not happen.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Lubbock,TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.