If your parents are getting on in years, they may need some reminders to take their medication, or they may need even more serious involvement from you.
Helping seniors stay safe with medications takes some oversight. It’s not hard if you pay close attention.
Here are some important things to know if you’re looking into medication management for your aging parents.
Keep Accurate Records
Make an up-to-date list of every medication and supplement that your aging parent takes. Note the dosage and the number of times per day they take the medicine.
This information could be found online if they’ve used an online pharmacy. Learn more about online pharmacies and how you can save money by ordering prescription drugs online.
If your parents use multiple pharmacies and they don’t have all the details you need to make an accurate list, you may need to contact their doctor. You’ll also want to take your updated list to any doctor appointments you attend with your parents.
Ask the Hard Questions
You need to understand why they’re taking the medications they have prescriptions for. Make sure you know the health issues they should solve, along with potential side effects. If something seems off, you’ll be able to address it when you’re well-informed about your parents’ health in general.
Make sure you also talk to their doctors in-depth about whether their medications are the right dosage. Seniors react differently to certain medications than younger people do. Some drugs need to have a higher dosage for older people, and for others, seniors need a lower dose.
Outside Help with Medication Management
As an extreme measure, removing the entire bottle of prescription medications can work. Provided someone checks in every week to refill a pill reminder box, then you or another caregiver can make sure they don’t have a large supply of pills, which do more damage if misused.
A pill reminder is helpful as long as your parents are lucid enough to use it. They need to be able to remember what day of the week it is and understand that if a box is empty, it means they’ve already taken their medication. You can also use a medication card found at pharmacies to help them remember.
If you’re keeping the original bottles of prescriptions in a separate place, you’ll also be able to renew them when the time is right. That eliminates the possibility of forgetting to renew them and then not having the medication they need.
Helpful & Not Overbearing
Giving your parents the assistance they need with medication management means walking on delicate ground. If they can’t accept they need help, it may be more difficult. Following these tips can help you keep them safe, without being overbearing.
You can have the peace of mind you need and give the senior in your life some room to breathe.
If you found this article helpful, check back soon for more tips about managing prescriptions.