Family caregivers should learn all they can about any new medications their senior loved ones are taking. The best way to do this is by asking the right questions at the pharmacy. Before you take your loved one’s prescriptions home, always make sure to know exactly what they are, how they interact with other drugs, and what they do.
1. What Is This Medication Being Taken For?
Aging adults often see a number of doctors and specialists. Keeping track of the different drugs your loved one is taking is essential for identifying and mitigating potentially dangerous interactions and ensuring each medication is doing what it should. Keep a list of any medications your loved one is already taking, and ask the pharmacist to review this list when the new medications are dispensed. This is especially important to do if your loved one is taking multiple medications for the same health condition.
2. Should the Prescription Be Taken with Food?
One large part of medication management is making sure prescriptions are taken at the appropriate times and with the necessary amount of food and water. Some prescriptions are most effective when taken on an empty stomach. Others should never be taken in conjunction with specific foods. Having the pharmacist outline the requirements for a new prescription will help you implement a safe and manageable dosing schedule.
Helping a loved one with medication management can be a challenging task, especially if he or she is living with cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. There are a variety of reasons to consider professional dementia care. Pembroke Pines dementia caregivers are available 24/7 to help seniors maintain better cognitive health, and they can also assist with various tasks like medication reminders, transportation to medical appointments, and nutritious meal preparation.
3. What Are the Most Common Side Effects?
The doctor should inform your loved one of any unusual side effects he or she can expect from the medications, but pharmacists can often give much clearer answers. Preparing your loved one for the side effects of a medication he or she is taking could prevent a medical emergency. The pharmacist should provide you with a written list of side effects and contraindications as well as any other information the manufacturer has supplied. Having the pharmacist go over the most common side effects will keep these at the forefront of your mind. Over the next several weeks, be on the lookout for severe side effects, which could indicate the drawbacks of a new prescription outweigh its benefits. Even relatively mild medications can lead to conditions such as bowel irritation, dehydration, mood swings, headaches, and insomnia.
A trained home caregiver can monitor your loved one closely for any signs of medication side effects. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional elderly home care, Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults address their health issues and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.
4. Is It Possible to Dissolve or Crush the Pills?
Be careful about crushing or dissolving your loved one’s pills before asking the pharmacist whether or not they must be taken whole. Many pills come with protective coatings meant to limit the effects their contents have on the lining of the stomach. A number of pills seniors take are also in time-release form, meaning they’re meant to dissolve slowly and enter the bloodstream at a moderated rate. Crushing pills like these could result in accidental overdose or uncomfortable digestive issues.
Seniors who take one or more medications sometimes to be reminded when and how to take them. In Pembroke Pines, homecare 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 hire a dedicated caregiver, call Home Care Assistance at (954) 374-8273 today.