If your loved one is elderly and may have started to forget or simply suffers from Alzheimer’s or Dementia, having them take their medications regularly or accurately can be a task.
Research has shown that 60% of older adults take their medications improperly, which leads to about 140,000 deaths a year. Improperly can mean your loved one taking too many pills of one medication that can be detrimental or misreading the prescription label and taking a medication every hour instead of every four hours. As your loved one’s age, it is imperative that you, as their family member, are aware of what they are taking, how they should take it and when they should take; so here we have listed a couple of do’s and don’ts that will help you ensure your loved one is taking their medications properly.
DO: Use a pill organizer to distribute all medication. If your loved one skips days on the pill organizer because they do not know what day it is, just fill up ‘today’s’ pills so that way they can only take what is in the organizer for that day.
DON’T: Allow your oved one to fill their own pill organizer if they have showed signs of forgetfulness or has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. If your loved one has been diagnosed or suffers from forgetfulness and lives with his/her spouse and the spouse is in charge of giving the meds, it is important also that the spouse is aware of what should and should not be taken. If there have been signs or instances where the spouse has forgotten or gives too much or not enough of a mediation, it is important that you intervene and relieve the spouse from giving the meds.
DO: Set alarms for your loved one at the times necessary to take their medications. This is good when they live alone or not with you. Whether on their phone or digital clock, these alarms can help them remember to take their medications.
DON’T: Relying on the alarm system should not be the only means of reminders for your loved one. Whether you visit them regularly or call, there should be added measures to the alarm.
DO: If you cannot be there on a regular basis, hire an in-home home health or personal assistant services company that can send a caregiver into your loved one’s home to either administer the medication or give medication reminders.
DON’T: Again, relying on the caregiver is the point of hiring them to fulfill the task, however, the caregiver should not be the only one that interacts with your loved one. Still visit them and ensure that they are doing well and are enjoying the caregiver and services being rendered.
Want to learn more about PC Home Health’s services? Contact us at (214) 991-5619.
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