Medication management and safety is critical for older adults to continue to live independently. Your aging loved one’s health may depend on his or her medications. Just as important, he or she needs t take the correct dosage, and at the right time. Consequences for incorrectly taking medications can be harmful and even lethal. So, what can you do?
Create and maintain an updated list of all the medications your loved one is taking and include the reason or symptoms required for taking the medication. When you’re not sure of why it’s prescribed, be sure to make a call to the prescribing doctor.
Understand the purpose of the medication and how it’s expected to treat or manage specific symptoms. Know the possible side effects, as well. Take note of symptoms that had previously presented prior to the prescription, and side effects that may have occurred in the past. If symptoms are improved, perhaps the treatment plan needs to be re-evaluated. Side effects can also mean that changes to the treatment plan are necessary.
Be alert for signs that your loved one may be overmedicated, especially with diabetes and high blood pressure. It’s common for older adults to receive higher doses than necessary, and this can become a safety issue. Don’t hesitate to call for medical help immediately if you’re concerned someone may have taken too much medication.
Watch for drug interactions, especially when the person you care for is taking multiple prescription medications. You can find free drug interaction checkers online, or just call the doctor’s office if you’re not sure about the safety of drug interaction.
Comfort Keepers® will help ease your medication safety concerns with in-home care services. Our caregivers don’t dispense medication, but they can remind your loved ones of correct doses and times to take their required dosage. If you could benefit from our home care services, don’t hesitate to contact us today!
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