Nov 8, 2018 by Mark McGoldrick
Medication management is a critical element of senior safety and well-being. The consequences of not taking medications properly can be harmful or even extremely dangerous. Thankfully, Comfort Keepers’ home care specialists can make a huge difference when it comes to medication management especially for seniors who live alone.
Comfort Keepers’ home care specialists can help seniors with these common challenges:
Additionally, caregivers can help prepare a medication safety checklist. Checklists should include the following:
What medications are being taken?
Make a list of medications, including prescription, non-prescription, supplements, etc. Include the dosages, timings, and administration directions.
Why are medications being taken?
Too often, seniors have changes in their medications or dosages but continue to take older prescriptions as well. Know why different medications are being taken and discuss questionable prescriptions with a doctor.
What are the side effects of medications or overmedication?
Many side effects are minor, such as dry mouth or dry skin while others can be quite serious, including drowsiness, bleeding, shortness of breath, changes in consciousness, etc. Seniors should know the major side effects, especially if they will be adding new medications or changing dosages.
What medications cannot be taken together?
With the average American senior taking 5-10 different medications each day, there are plenty of opportunities for medications to clash. Sometimes one medication will cancel out the effect of the other while other times the combinations can be toxic. While doctors usually check prescriptions, seniors should be aware of over-the-counter medications or supplements that could mix poorly or dangerously with their current medication.
For more information about medication safety checklists or to learn more about the many ways Comfort Keepers home care specialists’ can maximize the quality of your senior loved one’s elder years while helping them maintain their safety and independence, contact a care coordinator today.