Not taking medications properly can be a critical problem, especially for seniors. Besides the medications not doing the job they are supposed to, such as preventing Alzheimer’s or dementia from progressing, taking medication at the wrong time, without food or fluids, in the wrong dose, or not at all, can lead to dizziness, ulcers, stroke, and congestive heart failure.
Dan Clem-McKinley, Director of Friendship Manor In-Home Services, said the key to making sure your parent or loved one is taking their medication properly is keeping an open line of communication between your parent and their doctor.
“We all know as we get older we have the tendency of forgetting,” Clem-McKinley said. “If I would be dealing with my parent, the first thing I would do is ask, ‘What medications are you on? When are you taking them? What is the dosage?’ And if they are doing it correctly, then that’s OK.”
Clem-McKinley said the key is double-checking with both your parent’s medicine supply as well as the doctor who prescribed it to ensure the information your parent has told you about their medication is correct. The latter will require a release from your parent that you may discuss their medications with the doctor.
For example, it is not uncommon for seniors to continue taking pills even after the doctor has stopped prescribing them, or to still be taking a prescription that was filled in 2011, and still has six refills remaining on it because they didn’t take it as often as they should.
Clem-McKinley has even encountered situations where seniors have kept prescriptions for years, thinking the doctor may prescribe it again and they can save money by not discarding the old medicine.
Once you know what your parent or loved one is supposed to be taking and when, it is important to double check that the medications are being taken on time by doing occasional spot checks and making sure the right amount of medication is left and asking why if the number is off.
“The children need to be active in their parents’ lives if they can,” Clem-McKinley said. “That’s the first step, keeping the communications open, even if you live out of state.”
If you are concerned that your parent or loved one is not taking their medication properly, or you are unable to monitor them on a daily basis, Friendship Manor can help. Friendship Manor In-Home Services can provide daily medication reminders, where a trained staff member will go to the senior’s home, multiple times a day if needed, and ensure medication is taken properly.
At Friendship Manor the nursing staff ensures residents take their medication on time, according to the proper instructions and dosage.
Click here for more information about Friendship Manor In-Home Services.