#14.3 Useful Tips for Managing Medication: How to Help Your Senior Manage Medication (3 of 3)

#14.3 Useful Tips for Managing Medication: How to Help Your Senior Manage Medication (3 of 3)


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pardpardeftab720sl300qlqnatural f0fs20 cf0 Hi, I am Mary Alexander from
Home Instead Senior Care. Today I am talking about how to help your parents manage their
medications. Now I am going to offer some useful ways you can help them get organized
and avoid drug interactions. So what are some ways you can help your parents manage their
medications. The first step is to create a list of all
of the medications they are taking. Each parent should have his or her own list. At the top,
put their full name and date of birth. Below that, list each drug name and its dosage.
We also recommend including any directions, those can be things such as how many times
a day, and when the medication should be taken. What liquids or foods should be used to take
with the medication? Be sure to also include any foods or beverages that should be avoided,
such as dairy or alcohol. This part of the list should also include
refill frequency. This list of drugs should include prescriptions as well as any over-the-counter
medications and supplements, such as calcium, vitamins and herbs. Next on the list should
be all allergies, including those related to medicines and foods. The last item on the
list should be pharmacy, and healthcare provider names, addresses, phone numbers, and family
emergency contact information. This list should be readily available for emergency responders.
So it’s wise to leave a copy on your parents’ refrigerator. Believe it or not, they are
trained to look there for just such information. Your parents should take it with them to any
medical appointment or when filling a new prescription. One or two family members should
also have copies, and be responsible for updates as necessary. We know, one of the medication
management challenges for seniors is getting timely refills.
If you notice on the list that your parent has prescriptions at multiple pharmacies,
work with them to consolidate them into one location. Not only will that make it easier
on your senior loved one, but the pharmacist will have the full list if drugs being taken,
and can better watch for potential harmful interactions.
If it’s difficult for your senior loved one to get to the pharmacy, or they have problems
hearing, and can’t manage the telephone voice system, mail order prescriptions, especially
for drugs taken everyday over a period of time might be a great solution.
There are usually cost savings associated with this method as well. You can also volunteer
to manage the refills through your email system, so they don’t have to worry about it. Even
if your senior is using a mail order pharmacy, it’s wise to periodically consult a pharmacist.
He or she can help you ensure that the medications your parent is taking aren’t interacting with
each other. You can also share a list of over-the-counter
drugs and supplements, to make sure those won’t have any adverse effects when combined
with a prescription. When your parent gets a new prescription, be sure to save the information
material that came along with it. If you or your parents start noticing a new issue, such
as a memory problem, you can check the reference material to see if a new medication might
be causing the problem. This may also be a good time to remind them not to cut or chew
tablets, unless the direction specifically indicates that that is okay to do.
Perhaps, one of the most helpful tools you can offer your parent when managing medication
is an effective organizing system. One of the most common methods is to use a daily
pill organizer. These handy plastic organizers can be found at most drug stores, and come
in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common ones usually have seven compartments,
one for each days worth of medication. Others though, have more compartments for each day,
so that your senior loved one knows what pills to take in the morning, at lunch, and with
dinner, or before bedtime. If your senior loved one has a hard time even
remembering to take their medications, there are electronic pill organizers that will sound
an alarm, when it’s time to take the medications. Other electronic pill reminders talk, relaying
information verbally, which can also be very helpful. No matter what kind of pill organizer
your senior uses, you can help by sitting down with them once a week and filling up
each compartment for them. The list you made of all the medications and supplements can
serve as a handy reference guide for accomplishing this task. Whether your parent uses a pill
an organizer or not, it’s important that they keep the balance of all of their medicines
in the original container. The label contains important information such as dosage, and
expiration dates. Speaking of expiration dates, it’s a good idea for you to check the prescription
labels on their pill bottles. This is a way for you to help make sure they’re getting
proper refills. You can check the expiration date and discard any old medications.
Having open conversations with your parents about their medicines and encouraging them
to do the same with their healthcare providers and pharmacist is always advisable. In the
end, by speaking up and talking about proper dosage, refills and effects, means your senior
loved one’s health and quality of life can improve.}

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