If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you know it is important to take your heart disease medications correctly. But what exactly does that mean? Learn about heart health in seniors and how to get the most from your meds with the following tips:
- Be aware of what meds you’re taking. Find out their generic and brand names and be sure you fully understand what each one does. Read the patient informational sheet so you’re familiar with potential side effects.
- Take your meds at the same time each day. When you work together with CareFor, your caregiver can prompt you when it’s time to take your doses. Don’t stop or change any medicine without speaking to your doctor first.
- Create a list of all your medications. Include the daily dosage for each one. Keep a copy at home and one in your purse or wallet.
- If you’re having a hard time covering the cost for your medications, ask your doctor for guidance. Don’t cut corners on doses to try to save money. This could be harmful to your health.
- Speak with your doctor before taking non-prescription medicines or herbal remedies. Some could aggravate heart failure symptoms. These include antihistamines (such as Benadryl), antacids and NSAIDS (such as Motrin or Advil).
- Refill your prescription prior to running out of medicine. If you find it difficult to get to the pharmacy, a caregiver can assist you in picking up the medication.
- Take your medications with you when you travel and continue to take them on your normal schedule. If you will be away from home for a long time, take an extra week’s supply. Bring a copy of your prescriptions with you in the event that you need a refill.
- Sometimes ACE inhibitors can cause you to cough. If you are coughing too much and are not able to sleep or take care of your daily activities, call the physician.
- If you take diuretics (often called water pills), you’ll likely have to go to the bathroom more often. If you’re told to take one dose of a diuretic each day, take it in the morning. If you need to take two doses, be sure to take the second dose by late afternoon to avoid additional trips to the restroom during the night.
- Watch for signs of dehydration whenever taking diuretics. These include extreme thirst, dry mouth, darker-colored urine or reduced urine output, constipation and feeling lightheaded. If any of these symptoms occur, consult the doctor prior to making any modifications in medication or fluid intake.
Professional home care companions from CareFor can make life with heart disease much easier to manage. They can provide support with daily activities, prepare nutritious meals, offer medication reminders and take you to doctors’ appointments and the pharmacy. Email or call us at (512) 338-4533 to learn more about our customized Lakeway home health services. For a full list of all of the Texas communities we serve, please visit our Service Area page.