Many seniors use drugs to control chronic health conditions or treat acute disorders. A 2009 study done by Statistics Canada found that 97 percent of Canadians in healthcare institutions and 75 percent of seniors in private households were taking medications to treat one or more health conditions. Drug interactions, reactions, and overdoses often result in hospitalizations or other types of medical interventions. Here are a few ways to help seniors prevent medication mishaps.
1. Always Keep a Current List of Medications
Older adults often rely on more than one healthcare expert to receive care for their conditions. However, seeing multiple doctors increases the likelihood of adverse drug interactions. Providing a list of your loved one’s medications to the various doctors can eliminate these issues. You should also consider sticking to one pharmacy when shopping for your parent’s medicines.
Aging adults who need help managing their medications should consider professional in-home care. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Barrie Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
2. Read Prescriptions Back to the Doctor
Doctors tend to rush when writing medications, which can result in illegible handwriting. If the prescription isn’t written clearly, it may not be filled correctly by the pharmacy. Reading prescriptions back ensures you and your loved one understand the medications and instructions clearly.
3. Ask Questions
Make sure your loved one is taking the prescribed medications correctly by asking the doctor and pharmacist plenty of questions. For instance, ask what time of day is best for taking the medicine and if any foods or activities should be avoided while taking the drugs. Proper medication management can boost your parent’s quality of life.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Barrie elder care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
4. Beware of Certain Over-the-Counter Medications
Many seniors assume over-the-counter medications are safe to take. However, this isn’t always the case. Over-the-counter pills may interact with prescribed medications, damage health, or result in an overdose. Before picking up an over-the-counter medication for your loved one, check with his or her doctor.
5. Consult with a Doctor Before Altering the Medications
You may want to remove your loved one’s medication from its capsule and mix it with food to make it easier to consume. However, medications are designed to be absorbed in specific ways. Chewing a non-chewable pill or removing the medicine from a capsule may cause the medication to absorb too quickly and harm your loved one. Ask your parent’s doctor before altering medications.
There are a wide variety of health issues that can make it difficult for older adults to manage their medications and perform other everyday activities. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of senior care. Barrie Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at 705-503-2273 today.