As we get older, we start to rely on medications to help us deal with chronic pain and to keep our memories sharp. When we end up misplacing or forgetting to take our medication, however, it can end up hurting us in more ways than one. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help seniors manage medications, whether you call in a service like Seniors Helping Seniors Boca Raton or find new ways to implement structure in your senior’s life. Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you and the senior in your life are talking about med management.
1. Check the Dosage
The first step to managing your senior’s meds effectively is to make sure you have a trusting relationship set up with their health care provider. Keeping an open line of communication with your senior’s doctor can be a good way to make sure you know what’s going on in case of any changes. If your senior has signed the appropriate HIPAA-compliant forms, you should be able to talk directly with each doctor in terms of prescription dosage and changes.
2. Keep Track of What Does What
If you’re openly communicating with your senior’s primary health care physician or assigned practitioner, it should be fairly easy to keep a list of what kind of medications your senior is dealing with. Keeping track of everything won’t just make it easier for you to keep tabs on different meds and potential side effects, it will help you have more informed conversations with your senior’s doctors, as well as being vocal about keeping away from certain drugs that might clash with current prescriptions.
3. Know Your Beer’s List
The Beer’s list, or Beer’s criteria, is a way for doctors and caretakers to stay aware of what drugs aren’t safe for seniors. Some of these entries are less problematic than others, but they all should be used with caution. If your senior’s doctor prescribes a medication that’s on the Beers list, it might still be something your senior could benefit from if they’re able to take small doses. Knowing about what’s on the Beer’s list will help you create clearer boundaries and ask better questions of your senior’s health care providers so that everyone stays happy, safe, and well-informed.
4. Keep an Eye on Drugs That Don’t Mix
Even if you’re an extremely healthy person, you should always be aware of potentially lethal drug interactions. Some drugs, when taken together, can increase the risk of internal bleeding, high cholesterol, or addictive tendencies in your senior. Some can instantly endanger them. In any case, you simply can never be too careful with what you or your senior puts into their bodies. Familiarizing yourself with drugs that just don’t mix is a good way to keep your senior in the pink of health.
5. Stay on Schedule
When a doctor prescribes certain drugs to be taken at certain times of day, it’s not a suggestion. Keeping your senior to a strict schedule when it comes to taking meds is of crucial importance, especially if your senior is starting to deal with memory problems. If you can’t be there every day to enforce a schedule, find other ways to remind the senior in your life that they need to take their drugs in the prescribed order and at the right time.