Taking medications often becomes a regular part of the daily routine as seniors advance in age. Whether your loved one only takes one or two pills or has an entire cabinet full of prescriptions, you need to make sure he or she is capable of taking the medications appropriately. You can start by using these strategies to assist your loved one with setting up a medication management system that promotes good health.
Gather All Medications in One Place
Many seniors keep their medications stored throughout the house, since it seems convenient to keep them where they’ll be noticed. For instance, vitamins and supplements may be kept in the kitchen, and sleeping aids may be stored in the nightstand. While this system looks effective on the surface, it can lead to mishaps such as forgotten pills. To correct the issue, help your loved one gather all the medication into one convenient location so all the bottles are visible and easy to access.
Make Sure to Store Medicine Properly
When choosing the location, it’s important to remember many medications are sensitive to environmental conditions such as temperature fluctuations and high moisture levels. For this reason, the bathroom medicine cabinet is usually not the best place to store medication. Instead, look for a cool, dry place, such as a cabinet in the bedroom or kitchen area that has enough space for all of your loved one’s medications.
If your loved one lives alone, you may not be able to monitor the location of his or her medications closely, but a trained professional caregiver can do this and much more. Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Rocklin, CA, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.
Create a Medication List
Once you’ve gathered all the medications, make a list that contains information about each one. For instance, you should list the name of the medication along with the health condition it’s prescribed for. You should also include the dosing instructions as well as the doctor who prescribed the medication if it’s a prescription. Once you have an up-to-date list, make copies to distribute to your loved one’s other caregivers so everyone has this vital information.
Choose a Sorting and Dispensing Method
There are so many sorting and dispensing methods today that your loved one can tailor medication aids to fit his or her lifestyle. For some seniors, a small weekly pill organizer is helpful for keeping track of everything. However, seniors who take multiple pills on a daily basis may benefit from an automated dispensing system that sounds an alarm when it’s time for the next dose. After your loved one picks a method that works with his or her schedule, help with sorting the pills so it’s set up for use.
An experienced professional caregiver can be a great resource when you’re creating systems to manage your loved one’s medications. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide in-home care. Rocklin families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties
Keep a Journal or Log of All Medications Taken
Even with the best system in place, all it takes is one minor memory lapse to cause a major medication mishap. For this reason, you should also include a journal or caregiver log in your plans. Make sure this is placed near the area where your loved one takes the medications so everyone can help with tracking the daily medication routine.
Medication errors can be very serious for seniors, so follow these tips, and consider hiring a professional caregiver to prevent medication mix-ups. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Rocklin in-home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. If you need professional at-home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.