As seniors grow older, they may have to take multiple medications to maintain their health and wellbeing. From vitamins and daily supplements to medications for chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, keeping track of prescription pills can be confusing. Mixing up medications or forgetting about them can potentially be life-threatening. Here are some things you can do to better manage your senior loved one’s medication.
Invest in a Pill Organizer
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved one is invest in a pill organizer. Pill organizers have separate compartments for the days of the week, and some come with extra compartments for pills that need to be taken more than once a day. Make a point each week to sit down and fill up the compartments so everything is organized.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your senior loved one needs help with medication management. There are a variety of ways your senior loved one can benefit from having a caregiver. Professional in-home caregivers from Home Care Assistance Knoxville are trained to assist with meal prep, mobility and exercise, personal hygiene tasks like bathing and grooming, medication reminders, and much more.
Keep an Ongoing Written List of Medications
It’s a great idea to keep a list of all the medications your loved one takes, including any vitamins and supplements. Write down the name of each medication, its purpose, the dosing information, and the name of the doctor who prescribed it. You may also want to include notes on potential side effects. Make multiple copies of the list and keep them at home and in your wallet or purse. Give copies to any other family members who help with caregiving, and make sure to take a copy to every doctor or hospital visit.
If your loved one often forgets certain medications or doses at a particular time of day, consider setting an alarm. Use your watch or phone and set up reminders for all medications. Setting alarms can be helpful if your loved one requires a dose of a medication during a time when he or she is sleeping.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to ensure your senior loved one takes his or her medications on time. In Knoxville, elderly home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Always Use the Same Pharmacy
While it may be tempting to shop around for special deals on medication, sticking to a specific pharmacy of choice can keep your loved one safe. When the pharmacist fills a prescription, he or she can let you know if there may be a bad reaction between two different types of medicine. You can also consider automatic refills, text alerts, and other methods to stay organized once you pick a pharmacy and use it more than once.
Get Your Loved One on a Schedule
Setting up a schedule for taking medications can make them much easier to manage. Have your loved one take morning pills each day with breakfast so it becomes a habit, and make nighttime pills a part of the bedtime routine. After a few days, the new medication schedule should become second nature to both of you.
Helping a senior loved one with medications can be a challenging task, especially if it is managed alone. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Knoxville, TN, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care plans, give us a call at (865) 851-9730 today.