Unfortunately, medication omission is all too common for the elderly. As we get older and our memory fades, we begin to forget to take medication that is critical to our health. The omission of medication presents a serious threat to people 60 and older in the United States.
According to a study from Annals of Internal Medicine, a lack of following prescriptions causes 125,000 deaths a year in the United States, and approximately 50% of medications for chronic disease are not taken as prescribed.
For a lot of senior citizens, having a skilled caregiver remind them to take their medication can become critical to their health as they age. Let’s take a look at how an in-home caregiver can help your loved one with medication reminders.
How a caregiver helps with medication
One of the core responsibilities of an in-home caregiver is to remind your loved one to take their medications. Unfortunately, medication errors and omissions have been on the rise in nursing homes due to a lack of staff and safety procedures.
The one-on-one attention of an in-home caregiver can relieve the burden of tracking medication, which often becomes overwhelming as your aging loved one requires more medication and supplements.
A professional caregiver can remind your loved one to take their medication, even when you cannot be there yourself.
Medication Etiquette For Your Loved One
If you’re the one that’s responsible for your loved one’s medication, following basic medication etiquette can help ensure their safety. Being organized and following a plan will make being in charge of your loved one’s medication safer and easier.
Keep Everything in One Location
If you’re storing medications in different places, you’re setting yourself up to lose track of what to give to your loved one. Pick a place in the home to store all medications in a single, clear storage bin so it’s easy to keep track of.
If your loved one has a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s, make sure the medication is locked and stored away in a location they can’t get to.
Keep Medication in a Cool and Dry Location
Avoid putting your medication in a place like a bathroom cabinet, where heat and moisture can build up. Some medications require refrigeration, so make sure to double-check the prescription on where to store it.
Presort Meds for the Week
It can be helpful to organize your loved one’s medications by sorting prescriptions out in a pill organizer. A pill organizer allows you to organize what pills they need to take each day for the entire week, and some even have compartments for different times of the day. By putting medications into each day of the organizer, you considerably reduce the risk of medication omission.
Monitor Your Loved One
Two of the most important skills a caregiver can possess are awareness and attention. Once you’ve given medication to your loved one, especially if you’ve added new supplements or prescriptions to their plan, you need to monitor them for any adverse effects. Be aware of what medications they’re taking, what supplements and vitamins they’re on, and what they’re eating as it’s possible they can clash with one another and create allergic or ill side effects.
Be Proactive with Refills
You don’t want your loved one to not have access to a medication their body relies on. A lot of pharmacies will work with your insurance company and doctor to align your refill dates so you can pick up all medications at the same time. Ask your doctor or pharmacy about what additional steps you should take to ensure a sufficient supply of prescriptions.
Finding a caregiver
Finding the right caregiver for your loved one’s needs can be challenging. At Golden Care, we take care of that for you.
Depending on your budget and what level of in-home care your loved one needs, we can match you with a caregiver and customize a care plan that works best for your situation.
In addition to medication reminders, an in-home caregiver can provide:
- Meal preparation
- Assistance with daily activities
- Exercise Plans
- Social Companionship
- Memory Care Plans
Golden Care takes pride in being San Diego’s trusted source for in-home care. For a free consultation, contact us today!