Medication Tips For the Caregiver and Their Care-Receiver

Did you know that the average senior takes two to seven daily medications?

As we age our bodies change, affecting the way medications (and foods) are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted.

All of these can create a greater risk of drug interactions and side effects.

The more medications the care-receiver takes daily, the easier it is lose to track of how many to take and when they should be taken.

Caregivers should use a medication organizer for their care-receiver.

Consider these other tips:

1. Make sure all of the care-receiver’s doctors and specialists are aware of what the other is prescribing. Good communication is extremely important.

2. Make sure you understand how and when to take all of your medications.

3. Select over-the-counter products to treat only the symptoms you have. Follow-up with the pharmacist to make sure there will not be a reaction with other medications you are taking.

4. Make sure all medications are clearly labeled.

5. Keep medications in their original containers.

6. Never take medication in the dark or poor lighting.

7. Know what your medications look like. If it doesn’t look right or same, contact the pharmacist before taking.

8. Only take the amount prescribed for you.

9. Never take someone else’s medication.

10. Follow the directions on the container. Do not stop taking medication just because you feel better. Call the pharmacist when in doubt.

11. Use a medication organizer.

12. Don’t store medications in sunlight or direct heat. Store medications properly.

13. Never store medications in the bathroom. There’s too much moisture there.

14. Use whatever means you can to help your loved one take medication properly.

15. Don’t carry medicines next to your body. That can raise the temperature and cause some medications to break down.

16. Always get your prescription filled on time so you don’t run out. Missing even one day can make a difference in the effectiveness of many medications.

17. Use one pharmacy for all your medicines. This will help ensure that you don’t take conflicting medications.

18. If you have any questions about your pills, make a note to remind yourself to ask your doctor or pharmacist.

19. Tell your doctor if you have any side effects.

20. Be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist of any herbal preparations you are taking. Some herbals can interact with prescribed medications and cause them to be less effective.

21. Know the names and doses of the medicines you’re taking.

22. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children.

23. Throw away any medicines that aren’t currently prescribed to you.

24. Ask your pharmacist’s advice before crushing or splitting tablets. Some should only be swallowed whole.

Did you know that drug misuse is one of the top problems that doctors see in seniors? Did you know that about 320,000 questionable prescriptions are written for seniors yearly?

Almost 40% of all drug reactions each year involve seniors. Be responsible. If you have any medication questions be sure to ask your pharmacist.