Medication management is one of the most crucial aspects of caregiving, especially if the senior lives with cognitive impairment. The responsibility is not necessarily difficult, but it does require special attention. Here are a few medication management tips for seniors and their caregivers.
Use Age-Appropriate Doses
Older adults cannot metabolize medications and other substances as efficiently as their younger counterparts. For this reason, seniors are often prescribed low doses. Otherwise, they become more susceptible to side effects or accidental overdoses. When starting on a new medication, the dosage should be low and gradually increased as needed.
From managing their medications to preparing meals, seniors may need help with several activities. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Consider Senior-Appropriate Medications
Research pharmacological websites to find lists of medications that should not be prescribed for older adults. Some formulas must be prescribed with caution, as they tend to negatively interact with other medications. For example, the sedatives chlordiazepoxide and diazepam are a cause for concern due to the length of time they remain active. The formulas have been linked with an increase in confusion, falls, and addiction. Some beta-blockers and calcium-channel blockers have the potential to make heart conditions worse.
Create a Medication List
Make a list of all the over-the-counter formulas and prescription medications your loved one takes daily, and update the list as often as necessary. Include the name and dosage of each drug or supplement, and add the name of the prescribing physician and the pharmacy where the medications are obtained. Also, note the condition each drug is designed to treat. A list such as this may be useful when your loved one visits a healthcare provider or in the event of an emergency.
Learn More About Medications
Side effects may occur at any time. However, reactions are more likely to occur when first starting a new prescription. Learn about the medications that should not be taken together or with certain foods. Some medicines are also designed to be taken on an empty stomach. If your loved one displays unusual symptoms, contact his or her healthcare provider.
Helping older adults with their medications can be a challenging task for overworked and exhausted caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Pembroke Pines, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Talk to the physician or the pharmacist if you have concerns about medications, dosages, or a combination of formulas. Learn why one medication might be preferred over another for a particular condition. Always consult the physician before your loved one stops taking a particular medication.
Limit the Number of Pharmacies and Physicians
There is a greater tendency for seniors to experience an accidental overdose or adverse medication interactions when they use multiple pharmacies or see several physicians. These types of issues occur because the professionals are unaware of the treatments or medications prescribed by others on the healthcare team.
Ensure General Compliance
If your loved one takes medications unassisted, make sure he or she is taking the correct medications at the right times and in the right dosages. Compartmentalized medication devices are helpful for ensuring proper drug administration. In the event your loved one has cognitive impairment, make sure he or she remembers to take the necessary medications.
Seniors who need help managing their medications can benefit from professional in-home care. In Pembroke Pines, senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, give us a call at (954) 374-8273 today.