Most older adults take more than one prescription. In fact, the average senior takes at least 14 different kinds of drugs in a year. Unfortunately, when medications aren’t handled carefully, it can lead to dangerous drug interactions or mistakes.
These kinds of problems often lead to emergency room visits and hospitalization. To prevent your aging relative from being harmed, here are some tips to prevent medication mistakes.
Take OTCs Only After Asking a Doctor of Pharmacist
There are lots of over the counter (OTC) medications that can be helpful for easing pain, relieving cold symptoms, and more. While younger people who aren’t taking prescription medications may reach for these medicines without thinking, more care needs to be taken for seniors. OTC medications can interact with prescription medications, causing reactions. Even something as seemingly harmless as a vitamin can have a dangerous effect. Before your aging relative takes any new OTC medications, be sure to talk to the doctor or pharmacist about whether the medication is safe.
Know the Names of Medications
When an older adult gets a new prescription, make sure you know the name of the drug they are supposed to receive before filling the prescription. The people who work in pharmacies are humans and can make errors. When you know the name of the drug the older adult is supposed to be getting, you can notice right away if a mistake has been made.
Keep an Updated List of Medications
Create a list of all the medications your older family member takes, including OTCs. Write the names and dosages of all of the drugs on the list. Update the list whenever a new medication is prescribed or there is any change. Have the list periodically reviewed by the senior’s doctor to make sure all medications are still needed. Also, be prepared to provide the list to hospital staff should the senior go to the hospital.
Tell Doctors About Side Effects
Ask the doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects. If the older adult experiences side effects, report them to the doctor. Some side effects may go away with time, but others are more serious and may require a change in medication.
Hire Senior Care
Older adults sometimes have memory problems that can cause them to make mistakes when taking medicines. They might forget to take them or take the wrong dosage. Sometimes seniors will forget they took their medicine and take it again, which can result in an overdose. Senior care providers cannot dispense medications, but they can remind the older adult to take them at scheduled times. In addition, a senior care provider can monitor the elder adult to see that they take the right dosage and don’t take medicine twice.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Valley Stream, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005