Elderly Care Tips: Medication Management 101
If you have recently taken on the role of caregiver for an elderly loved one, you're probably just starting to figure out your role and the responsibilities that come with it. One of the things that you need to think about is proper medication management. In many cases, elderly loved ones are taking a series of medications for different health conditions and general health maintenance. You need a sound strategy to ensure that you're meeting those medication needs. Here's a look at some of the things that you should know about managing your loved one's medication needs.
Know The Medications
The first thing that you'll have to do is familiarize yourself with your loved one's medications. That means reaching out to their doctor for a full list of their prescriptions first. It's important to start with the doctor because that list will allow you to sort through the prescriptions in their home and ensure that they have all of the medications that they are supposed to be taking and none that they aren't.
It's easy for elderly patients to get confused when a doctor changes a medication. This sometimes results in patients taking medications that they shouldn't be taking any longer. You can eliminate confusion and ensure the accuracy of their medications by getting a list from their doctor and sorting their medications accordingly.
Understand Each Prescription
Once you're certain that your loved one is taking only the medications that they need to be, the next step is to ensure that they are taking the medications correctly. Review each individual medication and familiarize yourself with the dosing instructions, including frequency and time of day. Further, make sure that you identify any potential conflicts between the medications so that you can space dosing appropriately where necessary.
Create A Dosing System
Once you've narrowed down the prescriptions and you know what must be taken when, it's time to organize it all into an effective dosing system. There are dosing schedule tools of all kinds, including daily, time of day, and programmable dosing systems. Think about what will be easiest for your loved one to remember their medications and for you to monitor their dosing. That way, you can make this part of the process easier for both of you.
Talk with a local elderly care service about added support to help you with your loved one's care. The more you understand about caring for aging loved ones, the easier it is for you to give them the care that they need. A company like Polish Helping Hands has more information.