Helping a loved one manage their meds.
Do you have a growing concern about how well an older loved one is keeping up with prescriptions and dosages? On ABC News online, we learned that adults over 65 use more medicine daily than any other age group in the United States. These people often suffer chronic conditions that require multiple medicines, making management quite challenging.
Fortunately, ABC also offered some advice.
First, visit with that person, remove everything from the medicine chest, and make a complete list of all they are taking — prescription or otherwise — including why, when and how to take each.
Next, schedule a meeting with them and their primary caregiver, and take these questions with you:
- How does each drug work?
- How do we monitor if the drug is working?
- What are potential side effects?
- Is this a brand name or generic?
- Will a generic work in place of this brand name?
- Is this medicine safe to take with the other drugs they are currently on?
- Is there any way this list can be shortened?
Then, obtain an organizing pillbox, help the person arrange their medications for the following week, and make a commitment to check on them weekly for at least a month. If you find this is not working, it may be time for part-time help from a trained individual.
Here at Simpson Meadows, we pride ourselves on understanding how the needs of older adults are constantly changing. Please give us a call; we’d love to help with any issues you may have, including the need for our superb Memory Care programs.
Call (484) 364-3861 or visit www.simpsonmeadows.org today.
Experts agree that labeled pillboxes are an effective way of organizing medications. Here are two other good ideas for seniors, from physicians at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
1. Regular Habits. Try taking medicine while brushing your teeth or right when you wake up or go to bed. If you take your medicine habitually alongside something you regularly do, it links the two actions and makes it easier to remember to follow your treatment.
2. One Pharmacy. Use one pharmacy for all of your prescriptions. It will make getting refills easy and, today, many have computerized programs that alert pharmacists to potential drug interactions.