5 Ways to Help Your Aging Loved One Manage Medications

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Medication mishaps are common in older adults, especially those who take multiple medications. Failing to take prescriptions properly could affect a senior’s overall wellbeing. Below are some tips you can use to help your senior loved one with medication management.

1. Choose One Pharmacy

Picking up prescriptions from multiple pharmacies can be confusing and increase the risk of errors. Your loved one may go to one pharmacy to pick up a medication and forget he or she has other prescriptions at another pharmacy, causing treatment to be ineffective and putting his or her health in serious jeopardy. Choosing one pharmacy offers seniors the ability to receive personalized service because the pharmacist and other employees will likely know your loved one as a regular customer. 

Medication errors can be very serious for seniors, so it’s a good idea to consider hiring a professional caregiver to prevent medication mixups. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Mesa elder care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

2. Use Smartphone Apps

Many mobile devices have medication management apps seniors can use. The applications help them keep track of their prescriptions, lowering the risk of overmedication. When your loved one lists his or her personal information and data, the apps provide alerts when it’s time to take the medication as well as the dosage amount and any other specifics suggested by the doctor or pharmacist. Monitor the medication management apps to ensure your loved one is taking the prescriptions correctly.

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 in-home care. Mesa 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.

3. Watch for Side Effects

Medication management also pertains to alerting the doctor if the prescriptions have a negative effect on your loved one’s health. You should monitor how your loved one reacts to the medications, listing any side effects that disrupt daily life. Your reports about these issues allow the primary care physician to prescribe a lower dosage or choose an alternative treatment. Health changes could also occur due to a combination of medications, and a doctor will know how to address these potentially dangerous instances.

4. Create a Routine

It may be easier for your parent to manage his or her prescriptions if they’re incorporated into the daily routine, such as at mealtimes. Once your loved one has developed a method, make sure he or she sticks with it to lower the risk of medication mishaps, such as taking the wrong dosage or forgetting to take a specific prescription altogether. Another option is to take medication when first waking up or when going to bed at night. Associating prescription times with daily activities may reduce the risk of medication errors.

5. Hire a Professional Caregiver

Older adults with cognitive impairment issues may need supervision when taking their medication. If you’re unable to be there to help your parent, consider hiring a professional caregiver to assist with medication management, ensuring your loved one doesn’t miss a dosage or take the wrong prescription. A caregiver can also help with other household chores and daily activities, making life more comfortable for your entire family.

A trained professional caregiver can monitor your loved one’s 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 Mesa, AZ, 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. Call Home Care Assistance at (480) 699-4899 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.