When caring for the elderly in life, medication becomes an essential part of it all. If the appropriate dose of medications is administered, several chronic or even acute conditions can be successfully treated. To deal with arthritis, pain relievers are used, enabling them to be once more as active as they like.
Ensuring Your Loved One Receives The Proper Medication At The Proper Time
Scientific research has indicated that up to 87% of seniors are required to use at least one prescription drug—however, 38% use over-the-counter solutions. Up to 36% take anywhere between 5 or more drugs to help them with their medical conditions. Hence, proper management for these is essential, and it allows them to live comfortably. Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about aiding seniors with their medication.
1. Store Vitamins, Supplements, And Over The Counters In One Location
A common yet effective practice is to store everything in the same location. This allows you to keep track of everything that the seniors are using in your life. It also allows you to dispose of anything that’s expired. So, if you intend to stay organized and increase the levels of safety on these, it’s a good idea also to store them in a storage bin. However, it is advised that you use a separate bin for those that are used periodically.
2. Medication Should Be Stored Properly
If you didn’t already know, medication should always be stored in a dry, cool place. So, if you’re used to store them in the medicine cabinet in your bathroom, you may want to rethink this idea. Additionally, it should also be kept somewhere safe where pets or children cannot get to it. However, it should be noted that medication requiring refrigeration and other special conditions should never be stored outside of their requirements.
3. Create And Maintain An Updated List Of Medications
Since some medications can have negative interactions with each other, it is advised that you pay extra close attention to the drugs that they’re taking. Using an updated list of medications ensures that you can manage any drug or pill that they’re using with ease.
4. Presort Medications For The Week
Managing medications for your seniors can always be better done when you stay organized. Hence, it is recommended that you use pill organizers to pre-sort the upcoming week’s medication. One of the best organizers that you can use for this allows you to store all the doses needed for the day.
5. Recheck For Negative Interactions
Most seniors and older adults take at least a couple of different vitamins, medications, and other pills. Due to this, you must ensure that there is no negative interaction between the supplements. If you’re unsure of this, you can find an online interaction checker that will provide you with accurate information on this matter. If there are issues with them for some reason, it’s best to call the pharmacist or doctor immediately.
6. Ensure That You Understand The Instructions Clearly
Most if not all medications come with specific instructions that must be taken for effective usage. When the instructions are followed properly, this minimizes the side effects, negative drug interactions and reduces the chances of ineffectiveness. So, it’s best to explain the instructions to the older adults and even clarify with the doctor if you’re unsure.
7. Set Up A Medication Reminder And Tracking System
Getting older means there’s a chance that seniors will often forget to take their medication on time. If you have a caregiver, it can also slip their minds while they’re busy providing care and support for your elders. When you implement a tracking log and a reminder system, you’ll be able to help them remember when it’s time to take the meds.
One of the simplest ways to do this is with pen and paper. An effective chart providing the day, dose, medication name, and time will make it easier. As the days go, it is advised that you use an X or a checkmark to indicate that no days were skipped.
8. Understand The Likely Side Effects Of Medications
Using medications means that there will be some side effects. Hence, it is important that you properly understand those involved with your seniors’ medications. So, be on the lookout for possible health changes. If for some reason, you notice harmful changes or issues, it’s best to contact the doctor immediately.
9. Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s Or Dementia With Their Medication
Seniors suffering from either of these generally have a harder time remembering their medication, which often leaves them confused. Since their cognitive impairment leaves them forgetting even the smallest details, they will need some additional help. When they take medications incorrectly, it will have a series of negative impacts on them.
10. Plan Ahead For Medication Refills
If long-term prescriptions are a must, then you must pick up refills on time. This prevents missed doses and shortages. A creative solution to this is to have the doctor prescribe up to 90 days’ worth simply. This makes it easier to reorder every couple of months instead of the every month hassle; if for some reason these options are unavailable, it’s a good idea to keep reminders of the refill dates.
If ever you happen to notice changes in the behaviors of your loved ones after medication changes, or new treatments, it’s a good idea to get on top of things immediately. Some drugs are known for leaving normal persons in a confused or demented state. So, don’t forget to contact the doctor right away.
While the staff at assisted living communities take great care of your loved ones, you’re still in charge and know what’s the best option for them. Due to this, it’s your responsibility to make the tougher decisions that are for your benefit.
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