Medication management can be challenging for seniors who take multiple prescriptions to treat various health conditions. On top of having too many medications to keep up with, seniors may also have memory challenges that increase the risk of experiencing a medication mishap. You can use the following tips to manage your older loved one’s medication.
Prepare a List of All Medications
The first thing you need to do is find out which medications your loved one takes every day. Create a list that includes your parent’s prescriptions as well as any supplements and over-the-counter drugs he or she takes on a regular basis. Make the list as detailed as possible by including the frequency of doses so you can use it to keep the medication schedule up to date. Remember to update the list when new medications are added.
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Learn about Interactions & Side Effects
Seniors who are used to taking prescriptions may skip over the important information provided with their medication. Spend some time learning about the different side effects the medications can cause, and make sure your loved one doesn’t take any medications that interact with each other.
Use a Pill Organizer
To the extent of his or her abilities, your loved one should take medication independently. Pill organizers are tools that help seniors and their caregivers identify pills needed to be taken throughout the day. These organizers come in daily, weekly, and monthly forms, so you can select one that best fits your loved one’s needs.
Set Up an Alarm System
Your loved one may benefit from an alarm system that reminds him or her when to take the next dose. This can be a stand-alone appliance such as a clock, or your loved one can use a smart device such as a watch or phone to let him or her know when to take the medication. You can also use a pill organizer that dispenses medication as it sounds an alarm. Seniors with hearing loss may benefit from visual alarm systems that flash lights to alert them when it’s time for their medicine.
Supervise the Dispensing
Although your loved one should take the medication independently, you should also make sure someone checks in on him or her. For instance, a caregiver can stop by toward the end of the day to make sure your loved one took the medication appropriately.
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Create a Medication Journal
Medication journals help seniors double-check to make sure they took their medication on time, and caregivers can use them to track current care plans. A medication journal can be as simple as a small notebook your loved one uses to record when he or she took medication, or it can be as advanced as a computerized log created by an automated pill-dispensing system. Either way, a history of your loved one’s medication routine is essential for figuring out what happened should a mishap occur.
If your loved one needs help remembering to take medications and accomplishing other daily tasks, consider hiring a caregiver. In Richmond, senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us at (804) 207-4746.