Nearly a third of all seniors take at least five prescription drugs daily. If your senior loved one is among this group, Vancouver senior care professionals recommend having a medication management plan in place. By taking such steps, you’ll likely reduce risks associated with skipped doses, accidentally doubling up on doses or other issues that may come up while trying to juggle multiple medication requirements.
Clearly Understand What All Medications Do
Regardless of age, it’s easy to get confused with medication names. Start by looking up medications online to know what condition they’re supposed to be treating. Follow this up with a trip to the pharmacy or a conversation with your loved one’s doctor to find out the exact reason why each medication was prescribed. You’ll also want to be aware of:
- Potential side effects
- Drug interaction risks
- Effects of long-term us
Maintain an Updated Medication List
Doctors often change medications or adjust dosages over time. An updated medication list can help keep everything in order. Consider saving the list as a spreadsheet so it can easily be updated, color-coded, and shared with any caregivers providing live-in or respite home care and who are likely to be assisting your senior loved one with his or her medications.
See If Medications Can Be Eliminated or Reduced
As your senior loved one’s medication list grows, make an appointment with the doctor to determine if some pills or shots can be reduced or eliminated. It’s quite possible that some medications are overlapping and treating the same condition or no longer necessary. Ask if non-drug alternatives like dietary changes can also reduce the need for some medications.
Ensure All Medications Are Stored Properly
Medications your senior loved one depends on daily aren’t going to be as effective if they’re not stored correctly–improper storage can also change the chemical makeup of some meds. If you suspect medications haven’t been properly stored (color is different then it should be, strange odor) toss them and ask the doctor for a replacement. You’ll also want to check expiration dates since some medications become less effective or potentially dangerous with age as potency decreases.
With the right support, providing care for an elderly parent or grandparent feels more manageable and the quality of care he or she receives will remain high. Find the resources you and your loved one need and deserve through Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate and expertly trained Vancouver caregivers can provide medication reminders, pick up prescriptions, run errands, help around the house, and assist with personal grooming and incontinence. Call a trusted Case Manager at (778) 279-3634 for more information about our care services.