Approximately 1 out of every 30 seniors admitted to a hospital is due to an issue with prescription medications. Issues range from the wrong medication being given to adverse reactions. Senior citizens are especially at risk because memory may have them taking the incorrect dosage, struggling to read and understand the instructions, or trusting the doctors and pharmacists to give them the right pills.
Make sure your dad is taking his medications correctly. Use these four tips to make sure your dad avoids some of the common medication errors.
Check Pills as Soon as Prescriptions Are Filled
One of the first things you should do is bring up an online drug guide like Drugs.com. It’s best to do this before you leave the parking lot. You can look up medications by name or by health condition. Look at the online photo of the pill.
Make sure the pill looks like the pill in the prescription bottle. If it doesn’t go back inside and ask a pharmacist to ensure the right medication was given.
Look Into Contraindications and Side Effects
Read over the paperwork. It’s usually a two-page sheet, but it’s filled with information you need to know. Look at the interactions and side effects. For example, if your dad is taking Namenda for Alzheimer’s, there is a minor warning about that medication and the use of products containing nicotine.
Look at the side effects, too. If the most common side effect is dizziness, you don’t want your dad taking that medication before he drives somewhere. He may not experience the side effects, but it’s best to be cautious for the first week or two.
Aim For the Same Time of Day
Many pills should be taken at specific times of the day. Some ask people to take them with a meal. Others require an empty stomach. It may be recommended that your dad take the medications when going to bed to prevent a fall from side effects like lightheadedness.
Use Locking Pill Dispensers
If your dad is forgetful, you don’t want him forgetting he’s already taken his daily medications. Get a pill dispenser for the different days of the week. Some are locking and won’t allow him to open the other days without a key. Audible alerts and flashing lights will help him notice it’s time to take medications.
Elder care services can also help avoid an overdose. A caregiver can remind your dad it’s time to take his medications. Caregivers also provide companionship and can monitor him for side effects. Call an elder care agency to learn more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Health Care in Hillsborough, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.
As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.
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