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Medication Safety Checklist for Elderly

Prescription medications take on greater purpose later on in life. However, if not monitored, they can potentially cause more harm than good. To prevent potential accidents, Home Care Assistance in Boca Raton recommends keeping a safety checklist for all senior medications.

Prescription Purpose

Tracking the purpose of each prescription allows you or your loved one’s in-home caregiver to watch and ensure that each drug is doing what it’s supposed to. If you notice a medication is not working to treat symptoms, you can then go back to the doctor and ask for a different dosage or medication.

Side Effects

Along with a purpose, it’s important to note the side effects of each medication. This will help ensure you and your loved one know what to expect, identify normal side effects, and quickly recognize potential harmful side effects that require an immediate change in medication.

Drug Interactions

Seniors often have multiple medications, and a doctor may not always catch medicines that interact with each other. After making a detailed list of the purpose and side effects of each medication, make an accompanying list of drug interactions, as well as possible interactions with certain foods.

The Beers List

The Beers List was developed by Dr. Mark Beers to help ensure the elderly are not prescribed drugs with riskier side effects for seniors, such as benzodiazepines, certain analgesics, and antihypertensives. Consult this list with each prescription and speak with the prescribing doctor if there are concerns.

Follow Up

Periodically bring a list of medications to your loved one’s doctor’s appointments. Ask whether they are still needed, as well as if there are newer medications with fewer side effects or cheaper alternatives to current prescriptions.

If you’re concerned about your loved one forgetting to take medications, taking the incorrect dose, or experiencing dangerous side effects while at home alone, consider an hourly or live-in caregiver who can provide medication reminders and safety monitoring when your loved one begins a new medication. To learn more, call Home Care Assistance in Boca Raton at (561) 826.9282 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.