When you have an older parent or relative who lives (or spends time) alone, medication management can be a big worry. You are likely concerned that your loved one takes their medication as scheduled, in the correct amount, and without accidentally taking a double dose. You may also worry that prescriptions are not being refilled. Here are some expert senior care tips to help banish your medication concerns as a caregiver.
Medication Management Tips for Seniors
- Make a list: Note dosage, time to be taken, whether food is required or empty stomach, and the purpose of the medication. Put in a central location (on the fridge, for example) for reference by you, other caregivers and your elderly loved one. Also list vitamins and supplements below the main list. (Supplements can interact with Rx medications, so make sure the doctor has ok’d all supplements.)
- Use one pharmacy: This way, you can avoid any double-fills and order all refills conveniently from the same store. Also, the pharmacist may proactively notify you of any potential drug interactions if she/he fills all of your prescriptions. Don’t depend upon that, however. Always ask questions about any medication issue, or call the doctor. Grab the master list (see above) and take with you to the pharmacy and doctor appointments, so experts can double check appropriateness and drug interactions.
- Get a daily pillbox: This helps your senior to recall whether they’ve already taken their meds for the day. Make sure the box can be easily opened by your senior, but not so easily that all the pills end up on the floor. Keep pill bottles.
- Be sure meds are properly stored: Bathrooms can be humid–and medications often require a cool, dry storage spot or even refrigeration. Store away from children and pets, if any.
- Double check if refills look different: Your pharmacy may simply be using a different manufacturer (for generics), but there’s a chance the prescription may have been filled with the wrong dosage or medication.
Get Help with Medication Management in Omaha
As a full service senior care organization, A Place at Home has RNs on staff, who can manage your parent’s medications. If you need additional assistance with other senior wellbeing concerns, we can design a program of elder care services to fit your needs. For expert advice and compassionate assistance with senior care issues, including medication management, contact A Place at Home today.