As a leading provider of senior care in Caledon, we know that seniors and their caregivers face many challenges regarding medication administration and management. Fortunately, identifying problems such as organization and memory issues can help patients find solutions that can help them get the most out of their medication regimen safely and effectively.
When visual acuity begins to decline, it may become difficult for seniors to read labels correctly which can result in incorrect dosing, and arthritis can make it difficult for older adults to open pill bottles. Pharmacies should be asked to dispense medications with large-print instructions in easy-to-open bottles so that medications can be taken more easily.
Swallowing may also be difficult, and some seniors attempt to get their pills down more easily by crushing or breaking the tablets. This should never be done without the pharmacist’s approval because doing so can tamper with many pills and tablets that are designed to release medication slowly into the blood stream. Many prescriptions can be dispensed in liquid form for easier swallowing.
There are many varieties of pill boxes on the market which are wonderful tools that can help seniors manage their medication regimens. One type has a single box for each day of the week, and more involved designs have separate boxes for different times of the day. An innovative device combines the pill dispenser with an alarm system that can be programmed to a senior’s personal regimen.
For seniors who require additional assistance with medications, a caregiver can be hired who can provide medication reminders. They can also ensure that medications are taken at the proper time, with or without food, as instructed by the senior’s doctor. Caregivers can either provide hourly care for Caledon seniors, or can be scheduled for live-in care for 24 hour monitoring.
Keeping a detailed list of a senior’s prescriptions is a vital component to good medication management. The list should be taken to every appointment, and a copy should remain on the refrigerator for reference in case of emergency. The important elements of a medication list should include:
- The person’s name and date of birth
- A list of all drugs including prescriptions, over-the-counter remedies and supplements
- The dosage and frequency
- Special directions such as foods and liquids that should or shouldn’t accompany administration
- Medication and other allergies
- Conditions such as diabetes and the presence of a pacemaker or defibrillator
- Emergency contact information including relatives and attending physicians
Many seniors fail to refill their medications for several different reasons. Sometimes they forget about the refill, and other times they may not get their required medications due to financial problems. Marking a calendar can serve as a good reminder, and low-income seniors can be referred to agencies that are designed to help with medication costs.
Interested in learning more about senior medication management or in-home care? Call 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager from Home Care Assistance of Caledon. We are here to help and provide support 24/7.