It’s likely that your aging relative takes at least one medication per day. In fact, about 36 percent of seniors take 5 or more prescription medications. Unfortunately, that also means there’s a greater chance of making a mistake. Medication errors can be dangerous, landing the older adult in the hospital or even causing death. To avoid making medication errors, it’s important to take safety measures when managing medications. Below are some tips to help you better manage your older family member’s medications.
Keep Everything in One Place
As much as possible, store medications in one place. Of course, if a medication needs to be in the refrigerator, it should be there instead of in the cupboard with other medicines. However, at least keep all medicines in the same room. When all medications, including over-the-counter medicines, are kept in the same place, family caregivers can see everything the senior is taking. It also makes it less likely that a medication will be forgotten.
Keep an Updated List of Medications
Write down all of the medicines the older adult is taking, both prescription and non-prescription. Keep the list in a file that you take with you to doctor appointments and when the senior goes to the hospital. Providing doctors with a complete list helps to avoid medication interactions since the doctor can determine if any of the medicines the person is currently taking will interfere with a new prescription.
Store Medicines Properly
Most medicines should be kept in a cool, dry place. Though that thing above the sink in the bathroom may be called a medicine cabinet, it’s not really a good place to keep medicine. Bathrooms tend to be damp rooms, so medications should not be kept there. Also, make sure medications are kept in places where children and pets cannot keep them. If the older adult has dementia, keep medicines in a locked cabinet where they cannot get to them. Some medicines need to be kept in the refrigerator. If that’s the case, find out what temperature the refrigerator should be set at.
Consider Using Technology
There are plenty of apps that can help to manage medications. You can also set reminders on your smartphone or on the older adult’s smartphone, so they don’t forget to take medicine. There are even talking medication bottles available that allow family caregivers to record a message for the senior.
Use Elder Care
Elder care providers cannot administer medications to your aging relative. However, they can still be an important part of the senior following the medication schedule. An elder care provider can remind the older adult when it is time to take their medication. They can also stand by while the senior takes the medicine, ensuring they take the proper amount.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING ELDER CARE IN ROLESVILLE, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.