All posts tagged: medication

4 Tips to Manage Medication

Pill box to help manage medication

Organization, dedication and commitment are all the skills you need to be a competent caregiver. It requires your time, efforts, and most importantly, your utmost attention when it comes to taking care of the elderly. Knowing how to manage medication is important for our day to day life.

From my personal experience, I have found that managing my mother’s Alzheimer’s medication requires most of my time and patience. Whether it’s collecting medication from the pharmacy or storing it safely at home, medication needs to be supervised constantly.

Tablets, liquids and other painkillers are vital if you’re looking after someone who relies on their medication as it gets them through the day. More often than not, I’m constantly chasing up my mother’s doctor or pharmacist about receiving her medication before it runs out. I like to ensure I’ve got a full batch of her painkillers, Alzheimer’s prescription, and anything else my mother requires in case of an emergency.

More medication, more problems

As a caregiver, the most complicated part is the list of medication my mother requires on a regular basis. As years pass and her condition drastically changes her mobility, the list of her medication has grown! Doctors prescribe new medication almost every other month. It’s my job to keep up to date with it all, but at the end of the day, I’m only human, and some things can get left forgotten.

More lists are the last thing I need in my life. However, my mother’s medication is imperative to her life, which is why I’ve created a few tips to consider in order to manage medication effectively:

Pill Boxes
Pill boxes are a great little storage box to organize daily medication. Whether it’s taking medication during the day or at night, pill boxes are easily accessible and can be brought from your local pharmacy or supermarket.

Medication Alarms
A medication alarm can be great reminder when to give medication if you have thousands of errands to run daily. Although a little expensive, substitute a medication alarm with calendar alerts on your Smartphone.

In Sight, In Mind
Keep it visible to yourself. I’ve often found that when my mother needs her medication, I’m frantically searching for her painkillers in a bag full of other medication. Now, I’ve created her very own medicine cabinet which I have easy access to, but I make sure it’s out of reach from her for her own safety and protection. All medication should be stored in a cool, dry, secure place.

Use Your Daily Routine
Combine it with another daily task. Some medication requires to be taken with, or just after eating food. This is one of the most convenient times I have found to give my mom her medication. By combining it with another daily task, this leaves me more time to plan and complete other responsibilities.

These are just some general tips on how to manage medication. Of course, you have to take into consideration the different types of medication for the individual you are caring for. Keep topical medication away from oral medication. It’s important not to mix medication as this can lead to health related problems.

Medication can, and does, incorporate a more comfortable and better life for the individual. Not only does it prevent other medical problems, but it can contribute to longer life spans. Therefore, it is essential to handle and manage medication responsibly.

CareAcademy’s online class “Assisting with Personal Care” provides caregivers thorough direction
on how to manage medication for all types of patients.

Now registering!

Siddiqa Khalifa4 Tips to Manage Medication
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6 Signs that Your Elder Parent is Overmedicated

Did you know that 70% of Americans take at least one prescribed medicine and around 50% of them take two medicines based on research from the Mayo Clinic? By looking at these statistics in conjunction with others, there is no doubt that overmedication is a huge problem in America and throughout the world. The reality is that it is much more lucrative for big drug companies to treat illnesses rather than cure them. In fact, the prescription pill industry splits a whopping $85 billion dollars among the top 11 pharmaceutical companies. The elder population along with children, are the two groups that are overmedicated most often. Seniors frequently take several medicines due to various illnesses and medical conditions. In fact, statistics say that one out of every three Americans over 65 take five or more prescriptions and the average 75 year old takes more than ten medicines. The most frequently prescribed pills in the world are opioid painkillers, anti-depressants, and antibiotics. The bad news is that this problem will not stop unless a patient or her family takes control of their medical treatment; so be proactive if you believe your elder parent is overmedicated.

Here are 6 possible warning signs that you or your  elder parent is overmedicated:

  1. Fatigue: Are you frequently tired and have low energy even when you have hardly done anything at all? Do you find that you are out of breath at the drop of a hat?
  2. Recurring falls, injuries, or accidents: Are you falling more often than before and/or are you becoming more accident- prone?
  3. Unexplained weight loss or gain: Are you suddenly gaining or losing weight and have no idea why?
  4. Lack of personal hygiene: Do you suddenly have no interest in taking a bath or shower, wearing deodorant, brushing your teeth, and keeping up your normal hygiene?
  5. Difficulty concentrating and memory problems: Have you noticed that you cannot concentrate on even the simplest things or that you are having a lot of trouble remembering how to do normal tasks?
  6. Changes in sleep patterns: Do you have trouble sleeping at nighttime because you are wide awake? Is it hard for you to stay awake during the day because you frequently feel groggy or drugged?
If you or your elder parent is experiencing some or all of these signs of being overmedicated, please make an appointment with the doctor to address all of your concerns. Be their advocate and be on alert to see if your elder parent is overmedicated.
Elayne Forgie6 Signs that Your Elder Parent is Overmedicated
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