Older adults often take a number of medications. As we age, medications for high blood pressure, heart problems, or for illnesses such as cancer or diabetes may be needed.
When any type of change in the medication pattern happens, whether it’s paused due to an upcoming surgery, or a dosage level is adjusted, it’s a good idea for you or a family member to make note of the date of the change, as well as document any differences in mood, behavior, or cognition that follow. If you see any changes in the person, it’s a good idea to promptly report that to their physician.
Sudden changes in how long the senior is sleeping, their pattern of speech, their emotional well-being, or their ability to walk or move may be cause for concern. If you’ve documented when medications changed as well as any of the physical or mental changes, you have better information to discuss with your medical team.
Also, whenever a refill is made by the pharmacy, check the label against the prior bottle to verify the same dosage and instructions. If anything doesn’t look right, contact your pharmacist immediately.
Taking medications on the recommended schedule is also important. Make note of the pill box in your family member’s home. If you notice that sometimes pills are being left in the box, ask gently if he or she is sometimes forgetting them. Taping a note to the refrigerator or another conspicuous place (“Did you remember your 8am, 3pm and bedtime pills?”) or setting a timer to beep at certain hours of the day may help keep the proper schedule.
Keep a current list of medications, and make sure to discuss any concerns with your physician and care team. At FootPrints Home Care, our in-home caregivers help make sure that medications are administered as prescribed. It’s our goal to help each adult stay comfortably and safely in their home for as long as possible. If we can help you or your family member across the central New Mexico area, contact our home care company today.