Medication management becomes challenging as seniors accumulate multiple prescriptions to help with their 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. You should also include supplements and over-the-counter drugs along with his or her usual prescriptions. Make the list as detailed as possible by including the frequency of doses so you can use it to update the medication schedule. Remember to update the list when new medications are added.
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Learn About Interactions and Side Effects
Seniors who get used to receiving 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 does not take any medications that interact with each other.
Use a Pill Organizer
Your loved one should take medication independently to the extent of his or her abilities. 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, which allows you to 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. These alarms can be standalone appliances such as a clock, or your loved one can use smart devices such as a watch or phone to let him or her know when to take the medication. You can also find a pill organizer that serves double duty by dispensing medication as it sounds an alarm. Seniors with hearing loss may benefit from a visual alarm system that flashes lights to alert them when it is 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. Seniors with dementia require someone to be present during each of their doses.
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Create a Medication Journal
A medication journal helps seniors double-check if they took their medication on time, and caregivers can use it as a tool to track the current plan. It can be as simple as a small notebook where your loved one marks 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 or managing other daily tasks, consider hiring a caregiver. In Boca Raton, in-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 create a customized in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at (561) 826.9282 today.