At Caregivers Connection, we are aware that one of your greatest concerns is the safety of your loved one. Whether or not they are properly taking their medication is probably high on the list of things you think about when you are not with them. Here’s six medication safety tips that are easy for you, and them, to follow.
Use one pharmacist if possible
When you are the caregiver for a loved one, knowing who is taking care of them is important. If possible, see that their medications are filled at the same pharmacy each time. The pharmacist is more aware of any drug interactions, and knows your loved one’s prescription history.
Be aware of potential side effects
Whenever a new medication is introduced, be aware of any potential side effects. Ask the doctor, and also check when you pick up the medication. For example, pain killers or anti-anxiety drugs can make them unstable on their feet or sleepy. Keep an eye on them to see if they are experiencing side effects, and notify the doctor right away.
Keep a list of other medications
Have a list available of all other medications they are taking; prescription and non-prescription alike. This includes over the counter, vitamin, herbal and dietary supplements. Also, make note of any allergies they have to certain medications or foods.
Look at labels carefully
When picking up a refill, read the label to make sure the dose and count is the same as the previous one. If it’s a new medication, read the additional instruction labels to make sure they are clearly understood.
Sort out medications
If your loved one doesn’t already own a pill container, get them one. Even if they only take one or two medications daily. It’s easy for them, and you, to not remember if they ‘took their medicine today’. A pill organizer will keep that on track daily, and many are broken down with day/night slots also. There are also services that will remind your loved one to take their meds each including LifeFone’s Caregiver Tools.
Take medications as prescribed
Only take medications as prescribed. Make sure they are taking them at the right time of day and in the right dosage. Make sure that they aren’t being crushed or altered in any other way without the advice of a medical expert.
At Caregivers Connection, we know that their safety is your number one priority, and these six medication safety tips will give you peace of mind when you are with them, and more importantly, when you are away from them.