As seniors grow older, taking medications can become a bit more complicated than it was in previous years. For this reason, it’s important for them to gain as much knowledge as possible when filling or refilling prescriptions. The pharmacist can answer any questions your elderly loved one might have to ensure the medication works effectively and your loved one remains safe and healthy while taking it. Here are five questions your parent should ask.
1. How Does This Medication Interact with Other Medications?
Many seniors take more than one type of medication for a number of conditions, ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes. Your loved one should let the pharmacist know what medications he or she is already taking, including herbal supplements and over-the-counter pills. The pharmacist can tell your loved one if taking the new medication might interfere with any of the old medications, preventing them from doing what they’re supposed to or even putting your loved one’s life at risk.
Medication errors can be very serious for seniors, so it’s a good idea to consider hiring a professional caregiver to prevent medication mix-ups. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading at-home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.
2. What Are the Side Effects of This Medication?
Many medications have the potential to cause side effects. Sometimes these side effects are severe, but most of the time they’re fairly minor, such as drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness. However, even minor side effects can quickly become more serious for seniors. For example, if your loved one has difficulty walking and becomes dizzy, it could lead to a fall, which is why it’s important to be aware of all the side effects of each medication and what to do if your loved one experiences them.
3. How Many Refills Are Available?
Doctors can prescribe medicine for your loved one to take for a few weeks, a few months, or even a year or longer. It’s always important to find out where your loved one’s medications fall on the timeline. When your loved one gets down to one refill on a medication he or she needs to continue taking, it’s time to make another appointment with the doctor.
4. When Should This Medication Be Taken?
Some medications work best at night, some need to be taken with meals, and some should be taken within a few hours of each other. Always make sure your loved one leaves the pharmacy with a complete understanding of when and how to take the medication. If your loved one needs reminders to take his or her medications, consider hiring a caregiver to help.
If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to manage his or her medications closely, but a trained professional caregiver can monitor his or her medication schedule and much more. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Lakewood, CO, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
5. Does This Medication Make It Difficult to Perform Normal Activities?
Because of potential side effects, some medications may prevent your loved one from doing normal everyday activities, such as driving. Some interact with certain foods, and your loved one should know which foods to avoid while taking the medication. Your loved one should always ask the pharmacist if there are any activities to avoid.
An experienced professional caregiver can be a great resource when you’re creating systems to manage your loved one’s medications. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide homecare. Lakewood families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. If you need compassionate, professional home care for your loved one, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (303) 987-5992