If you are helping care for an aging loved one, or you are advancing in age yourself, then you are probably already aware of the importance of medication management. With age, multiple chronic conditions may present themselves which may require several prescription drugs from more than one prescriber. In this situation, there comes an increased risk of drug interactions, side effects, and accidentally missing or doubling doses. Medication management is a set of practices to prevent these things from happening. Creative Caregivers provides a guide that features tips and services on how to detect when your loved one is not managing their meds well and how to get them on track and keep them safe.
Seniors in Sarasota deserve a chance to gracefully age in place, while enjoying the comfort and independence that living in their own home provides. If you have an aging loved one that might benefit from our medication management services, call Creative Caregivers toll free today at: 1 (888) 530-4909, and we’ll promptly schedule an initial FREE in-home assessment to discuss your senior’s needs.
Medication Management Tips
Many seniors appear to have their medication management under control. They may even have a system in place where everything looks completely normal. All too often it takes an unfortunate event to occur before it is recognized that things were not as they seemed. You must investigate a little deeper when you suspect things are not going well. Comprehensive medication management is no small task, and many people decide to hire a professional caregiver when it comes to medication management services. However, if you want to try helping a loved one, such as a parent, to manage his or her medicines, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Keep an updated list of medications
- Place it in a visible place – such as the refrigerator
- Make a note of the correct dose time (organize the list from morning to evening)
- Record the proper dosage
- Write down if it should be taken with food or drink
Use a Pill Dispenser
Organizing medicines in a pill dispenser lessens confusion and creates easy access. Choose a dispenser with large font and a sturdy design—the last thing you want is for your parent to have to fumble with lids and spill pills across the floor. It is best to have one that has AM and PM (if NOON is necessary have one with that time included as well).
Pill Dispenser with NO Independence
There comes a time when you may realize that the pill boxes are not working, and it is time to do something different. There are several products on the market that allow the pill dispenser to be filled, alarms can be set, and they dispense the pills at the proper time, thereby ensuring your loved one is getting the right prescriptions at the correct time.
Set Up a Pill Reminder
Pill reminders help ensure a parent never misses or doubles a dose. They come in a variety of formats, such as telephone reminder services and specialized alarm clocks. There are also a slew of apps you can download to your parent’s smartphone if he or she has one (as well as your own for safe measure). This allows you to monitor exactly what is going on and know when they are to take their meds if you want to be that involved in the management of their medications.
Store Medicines Properly
Different medicines may require different storage environments, but generally they all fare best when kept in a cool and dry place. This rules out the bathroom medicine cabinet, where moisture and heat from the shower can affect drugs. Also make sure to store medicines away from children and pets.
Know What Medications Are Unsafe for the Elderly
For various reasons, certain medicines and classes of medicines, such as benzodiazepines, are not recommended for seniors. To keep informed, you can refer to the American Geriatrics Society Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults. For 20 years, AGS has kept and updated the report, which draws from more than 2,000 research studies to list more than 30 medicines potentially unsuitable for the elderly.
Take Extra Precaution with Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Seniors with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia or cognitive impairment should not be allowed to take their medication on their own. The danger of missing a dose, confusing pills, or even overdosing is too high. In these cases, an in-home caregiver or family member should oversee medication management. Also know that some medicines may create side effects that mimic cognitive impairment—another good reason to keep a list of medicines current.