As adults get older, they commonly develop medical conditions that require treatment with medication. Taking medications presents the possibility of experiencing mishaps. However, family members can use the following strategies to prevent their senior loved ones from overdosing or skipping a dose.
Create a List of All Medications
Use a mobile device or a simple pad of paper and a pencil to record the name of each new medication your loved one’s healthcare provider prescribes. The information should include the reason for the drug, the dosage, and when it needs to be taken. Also, include how long the medication must be continued. By preparing a list of all medications, you have a reference point when needed and the basics for creating a medication database for your loved one.
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Maintain a Medication Database
For each over-the-counter or prescription drug listed, include the name of the prescribing physician, the date the prescription was obtained, and the name of the pharmacy where the medication is filled. Document possible side effects and drug interactions, and find out whether certain medications can or cannot be taken with specific foods or beverages. Should unusual symptoms arise, you can review the information to determine if the issue is caused by a medication.
Bring the List of Medicines to All Medical Appointments
Make a hard copy of the list before going to each medical appointment so you have a current history. Maintaining a medication database can be especially helpful for preventing interactions with other medicines if your loved one visits multiple healthcare providers.
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Keep Track of Medication Schedules
When someone needs to take multiple medications throughout the day, the regimen may become confusing. Seniors are at risk of missing a dose or overdosing if they cannot remember taking their pills. Eliminate the confusion by reminding your loved one to take his or her medications throughout the day. If your parent doesn’t live in the same residence as you, medication containers may prove helpful. Pill boxes come in a variety of sizes and can be set up for multiple dosages throughout the day for a week or more as needed.
Stick to the Same Pharmacy
If possible, use the same pharmacy for obtaining all of your loved one’s medications. The database for each customer quickly reveals current and past medications. With all of the information on hand, a pharmacist is better able to determine if a new drug might interact with any of the currently taken medications. Keep all of the medications in their original containers. Otherwise, your loved one might accidentally take the wrong pill or take a drug at the wrong time. If child-proof caps are difficult for your loved one to open, tell the pharmacist not to use them.
Remove All Outdated Medications
It’s not uncommon for medications to be prescribed for a specific length of time and then discontinued. Dosage or medication changes may also cause seniors to have bottles of remaining pills. Dispose of unused medications as soon as they’re no longer needed. If the bottles become mixed with existing prescribed medications, your loved one may take an unnecessary drug accidentally.
From managing their medications to preparing meals, older adults may require assistance with a wide variety of tasks. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior care. Fort Worth Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To learn about our proprietary in-home care methods, call us at (817) 720-5556 today.