With more than 10,000 prescription drugs available in the United States, it’s no wonder that so many older adults – about one in three – are taking a minimum of five of them every day. And family caregivers know firsthand the difficulty of handling these medications for seniors. The truth is, studies show that approximately 55% of prescription drugs are being taken incorrectly for a number of reasons, and the results can be extremely dangerous.
Decrease the risk for errors with this advice for medication safety for seniors, courtesy of one of the top-rated home care agencies in the San Antonio area– CareFor:
Educate yourself on each prescription. If you’re uncertain of the correct dosage, management or side effects of a senior’s medications, ask the physician or pharmacist for the following types of details:
- The name of the drug (brand and generic)
- Why the medicine is being recommended
- The length and duration for taking the drug
- The proper dosage and time of day to take the medicine
- Potential side effects and drug interactions, as well as how the medicine should be taken (for instance, on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water, etc.)
Also, be sure to ask the senior’s physician to routinely perform a medication review to verify which medications are still recommended and which ones could perhaps be stopped.
Prepare an up-to-date list of all medications. Creating a detailed list of all prescribed medications, OTC medications, and vitamins and supplements that the older adult is taking can be a tremendous help at doctors’ appointments. The list should cover all of the information above, plus:
- The shape, size and color of the medication (include a picture of the drug if possible)
- The prescribing physician’s name and telephone number
- The date each medication was first taken, and whether or not it should be refilled and taken continually
- The date the list was last updated
Offering top-rated dementia care in San Antonio and the surrounding communities, we can help put these medication management tips into practice for seniors, as well as provide a full range of customized home care services to enhance health and quality of life. Contact us online or call us at (512) 338-4533 for more information about our home and dementia care in San Antonio and the surrounding areas.