Senior Medication: Creating a Safety Checklist

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According to the Administration on Aging, 92 percent of adults older than age 65 have at least one chronic health condition, and 77 percent have at least two. With the medications needed to control these issues, it’s important to make sure your elderly loved one is taking his or her prescriptions safely, especially if there’s more than one. To help you get started, take a look at this medication safety checklist for seniors.

 

Ask the Doctor for a Medication Review

For this appointment, bring a list of all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and supplements your aging family member takes. The physician will review the list to ensure all the drugs are necessary and safe and don’t interact negatively with each other. 

Some older adults may be taking medications for more than one health issue. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

 

Keep Track of New Symptoms

If your loved one has started a new medication, it’s important to be aware of side effects that may arise. Help your parent note anything troubling that begins after starting the medication, and check with the doctor to see if these symptoms are a result of the new prescription or due to combining a new medication with one already in use. 

 

Check the Medication List against the Beers List

This resource from the American Geriatric Society provides information about medications that may cause unwanted and dangerous side effects in older adults. While a medication on the Beers list isn’t necessarily inappropriate for your family member to take, extra caution should be used. 

A professional caregiver can assist with medication reminders to keep your loved one safe. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of in-home care. Richmond Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. 

 

Get Organized

Once you’ve ensured your loved one is taking the correct dosages of the right medications and no harmful side effects are present, the next step is to make sure he or she knows how to take the prescriptions as directed. Pill organizers can help seniors remember if they’ve taken their medications that day, and a simple alarm can also be an effective reminder. If alarms aren’t sufficient, you might consider hiring a caregiver to provide regular medication reminders. A caregiver can also monitor your loved one for serious side effects and offer assistance if a medication affects your parent’s balance and mobility.

Some families may not have the time to help their loved ones every day with managing medications and other daily tasks. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Richmond, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call today.

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