You can’t always be there. But we can.
Each year thousands of Americans suffer serious health consequences, and even death, caused by prescription medication errors. Whether it is that they are taking too much medication, are allergic to a prescription, are taking medications that dangerously interact, or do not take them properly, these consequences can be dire.
As a family caregiver you can help your aging parent to avoid potentially serious issues related to their prescriptions by encouraging them to know as much about them as possible when they are prescribed.
Things that your parent should know about their prescriptions include:
• What is it? This includes what it is called, what it actually is, and how it is administered.
• Why was it chosen? Knowing why a particular medication was chosen can ensure your parent understands how it is supposed to work and why.
• What is the dose? Your parent should know how much of the medication they are supposed to take and how to properly measure it.
• When do I take it? Timing is often critical when it comes to medication. Make sure they know when they are supposed to take each dose, and what to do if they forget a dose.
• Are their special instructions? Your parent should know if they need to take their medication with food, if they should avoid certain foods or activities with the medication, and other instructions to ensure safety and efficacy.
• What are the side effects? There is a difference between a drug side effect and a negative reaction. Understanding what to expect can help to indicate when something serious might be happening.
• How long is the prescription? Knowing if there are refills and if those refills are necessary is an important part of making sure that your parent is taking what they need, not too much or too little.
• Is it safe with other medications? It is vital that your parent be fully honest and thorough with their doctor about every medication they are taking, including over-the-counters, to prevent potential interactions that could be dangerous.
Starting senior homecare for your aging parent can be an exceptional way to enhance their quality of life, boost their health and well-being, and also ease your stress and ensure that you can continue to take care of other obligations in your life while being the best caregiver possible for your parent.
A senior in-home health care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, be with your parent when your schedule or your distance prevents you from being with them, and provide personalized services tailored specifically to their needs. These will not only help your senior to stay healthier, safer, and more comfortable, but also support greater independence, activity, and fulfillment as they age in place.
When it comes to helping them to take care of their health, a homecare provider can be invaluable. This homecare provider can bring your parent to doctor’s appointments, encourage compliance with instructions and guidelines, and offer medication reminders so your parent stays on track.