Family caregivers in Caledon, ON, should learn all they can about any new medications their senior loved ones are taking. The best way to do this is by asking the right questions at the pharmacy. Before you take your loved one’s prescriptions home, always be sure to know exactly what they are, how they interact with other drugs, and what they do.
1. What Is This Medication Being Taken For?
Aging adults often see a number of doctors and specialists. Keeping track of the different drugs your loved one is taking is essential for identifying and mitigating potentially dangerous interactions and for ensuring each product is doing what it should. Keep a list of any medications your loved one is already taking and ask the pharmacist to review this list when the new pills are disbursed. This is especially important to do if your loved one is taking multiple medications for the same health condition.
2. Should the Prescription Be Taken with Food?
One large part of medication management is making sure the pills are taken at the appropriate times and with the necessary amount of food and water. Some prescriptions are most effective when taken on an empty stomach. Others should never be taken in conjunction with specific foods at all. Having the pharmacist outline the requirements for a new prescription will help you implement a safe and manageable dosing schedule.
3. What Are the Most Common Side Effects?
The pharmacist should provide you with a written list of side effects and contraindications, along with other information the manufacturer has supplied. Having the pharmacist go over the most common side effects will keep these at the forefront of your mind. Over the next several weeks, be on the lookout for severe side effects, which could indicate the drawbacks of a new prescription outweigh its benefits.
4. Is It Possible to Dissolve or Crush the Pills?
Be careful about crushing or dissolving your loved one’s pills before asking the pharmacist whether or not they must be taken whole. Many pills come with protective coatings meant to limit the effects their contents have on the stomach lining. A number of pills seniors take are also time-released, meaning they are meant to dissolve slowly and enter the bloodstream at a moderated rate. Crushing pills like these could result in accidental overdose or uncomfortable digestive conditions.
Seniors who take one or more medications often need timely reminders. A caregiver from Home Care Assistance can provide this service and also help with tasks like cooking, cleaning, and exercise. For more information on the senior care Caledon, ON, family caregivers trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 905-951-8885 to schedule a free consultation.