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Help Your Elderly Loved One Manage their Medication Safely

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By Brenda Enright
Owner of Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke

Health Tips for Seniors from the Team at Home Instead Etobicoke

Tips for Effective Medication ManagementeElderly Canadians, on average, are taking more prescription drugs, some as many as ten different daily medications. There is always a concern for interaction and side effects. When your loved one has several different pill bottles, it gets difficult to remember when to take the blue pill or if the red pill should be taken on a full stomach. A simple error can prove troublesome for your elderly parent.

Empower Mom and Dad to confidently take their pills when you help them set up a medication management program. For additional help, reach out to the highly trained and caring professionals at Home Instead Senior Care in Etobicoke. Our team works with you and your loved one to develop a custom plan from our wide range of services. We can help with personal care, household duties, and meals and nutrition tailored to your loved ones’ needs to keep moving and living life at its fullest.

3-Step Plan for Effective Medication Management

You want the best for your elderly parents. Use this simple 3-step plan to give them the confidence to take their medications on time, every time:

  1. Get Prepared: The first step for successful medication management is preparation.
    1. Gather all medications in one place. With your senior’s help, pull together all the prescription drugs, vitamins, and over-the-counter medicines that they take.
    2. Make a record of everything being taken. Take a sheet of paper and write down everything they need to take. Look at the labels and note down the drug name, what it is for, when, and how much should be taken. You can also record the doctor who prescribed it and the pharmacy that filled the prescription. This can be handy when dealing with refills.
    3. Plan ahead with a pillbox. Pre-sorting Mom’s medications for the week can reduce frustration. You can find a variety of sizes and options to fit your mom’s needs. If there is a pill that needs to be split, do it now. It will be much easier on Mom later.
    4. Prepare for refills. This applies, particularly to long-term prescriptions. You don’t want your dad to run out of his heart medications, so talk with his doctor about 90-day supplies. You may be able to set up an automatic refill so that you are notified when a new one is ready.
  2. Make Taking Meds Easier to Remember: Getting everything set up is easy. Remembering to take them may be much harder.
    1. Use smartphone apps. For those seniors who are tech-savvy, look for reminder apps to install on their smartphones. They can also use timers and alarms.
    2. Take advantage of routines. We are all creatures of habit. Help Dad remember to take his pills by encouraging his daily habits. For example, if he always eats breakfast at 8:00 AM, then he can take some of his morning pills then. A simple chart on the fridge can help.
  3. Remain Vigilant for Interactions: No medication is without its side effects. When your loved one takes more than one, the chances of interactions arise.
    1. Update the medication list. Keep the records updated by adding and removing pills as needed.
    2. Understand the side effects. Read about the side effects and ask Mom or Dad if they are experiencing anything odd.
    3. Make a note and keep track of any negative interactions. If they say yes to feeling strange or uneasy, then make notes and reach out to their doctor.

Improve Medication Management with Help from Home Instead Senior Care

Managing medications can seem overwhelming when you have a lot on your plate already. Let a senior caregiver from Home Instead Senior Care step in to ensure your loved one is taking their prescriptions as they should. We can even help with cooking nutritious meals, personal care, and transportation to appointments. We support you and your senior with the needed help you require to enjoy peace of mind.

Call us at (416) 239-2200 to schedule a no-obligation, in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care we deliver each day to families in our Etobicoke area.



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