With more than 20,000 prescription medications available in the United States, it’s no wonder that so many older adults – 87% of them, in fact – are taking at least one prescription, and 36% are taking five, or even more. If you’re a family caregiver for a senior loved one, you know firsthand how challenging it can be to manage these medications and ensure they’re taken exactly as prescribed. Taken incorrectly, prescriptions that are meant to be helpful can instead be exceedingly harmful.
Reduce the chance of a mistake with these helpful medication management strategies from the trusted senior care experts at American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care.
To begin with, make sure you know as much as possible about each prescription. If you’re unsure of the correct dosage or potential side effects of a senior’s medications, ask the doctor or pharmacist for the following types of information:
- The brand name as well as the generic name of the medication
- Why the medicine has been prescribed, for what condition
- How long the medication should be taken, for a specific length of time or ongoing
- The proper dose and time of day the prescription should be taken
- Any potential side effects or drug interactions to watch for
- How the medication should be taken (for example, with food, on an empty stomach, with 8 oz. of water, etc.)
It’s also helpful to have the doctor periodically review the senior’s medication plan to confirm which meds are still necessary and which ones should perhaps be stopped.
Put together an updated list of all medications, including not just prescriptions, but also over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements that the senior is taking. The list should cover all of the information above, as well as:
- The color, size, and shape of each medicine (with a picture if possible)
- The prescribing doctor’s name and contact information
- The date the senior began taking each medicine
- Whether each medication needs to be refilled and/or taken continually
- The date the list was updated last
At American, Advocate and Whitsyms In-Home Care, our referred care providers are always on hand to assist with:
- Medication reminders to ensure seniors are taking each medication according to doctors’ orders
- Transportation to medical appointments and tests
- Help with organizing paperwork and taking notes so all doctor recommendations are understood and followed
- Pick up prescriptions and refills
- And more
Having the assistance of a care provider helps seniors get the most out of their medications, while enjoying a higher quality of life through a full range of additional services provided where it’s most comfortable and where adults have the most freedom – at home.
To learn more about our trusted Florida home care services, contact the location nearest you:
- American In-Home Care – Serving North, Central, and West Coast of Florida
- Advocate In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
- Whitsyms In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661