Tuesday Tips for Caregivers: Keeping Track of Your Loved One’s Medications

Keeping Track of Your Loved One’s Medications

Being a caregiver requires you to pay attention at different scales. Let us explain. On the one hand, you have to pay attention to the larger problems going on in your loved one’s life, like their overall health, their happiness, their living situation, etc. On the other hand, there are tinier details that get involved like keeping track of doctor’s appointments.

Today, we want to focus on one of the smaller details: medication management. But, by calling this a small detail, we don’t mean to imply that it is a small issue. Medication management is very important and you must pay careful attention to it. But with everything else going on in your life, it can be hard to pay attention to the details of medication management. In this blog, we want to go over ways to help make this process more convenient for you, so your loved one can stay safe while in your care.

Medication Management

The elderly population (age 65 or older) commonly take medications more than other age groups.[1] Chances are, your aging loved one is taking some form of medication and you have to help them manage it. Consider these tips to make the task easier, while keeping your loved one on a regular schedule:

Consult your loved one’s doctor: This is one of the most important steps. Always ask your loved one’s doctor about their medications, when they have to take them, and possible dangerous side effects or interactions with other substances.

Read warning labels: Prescription medications often have a lot of information detailing what one cannot have while taking the medication, like other drugs, alcohol, etc. This information comes with the paperwork in each prescription. Along with consulting with your loved one’s doctor and pharmacist, pay careful attention to the directions in your loved one’s prescription. Additionally, make some notes in a personal notebook to help you remember what your loved one can and can’t have while taking certain medications.

Organize: Medications usually need to be taken on a regular schedule after a consistent number of hours every day. In order to help you keep track of this, buy a pillbox that is organized into days and weeks. This will allow you to store your loved one’s medicines and store them away neatly. Some pill boxes even come with timers, but you can also buy a timer separately to help remind you when your loved one needs to take their next dose.

Discard expired medicine: To ensure that your loved one is safely getting their prescribed medicine, make sure all prescriptions are up-to-date and are not expired. Ask your loved one’s pharmacist about how to refill any prescription.

Keep track: Make sure to count and keep track of your loved one’s pills to see if your loved one is missing doses or maybe taking more than what is prescribed.

Ask for help: Sometimes, this is all just too much. Many family caregivers benefit from having some additional help around, like with a professional caregiver through a nurse registry or agency. Do not hesitate to ask for additional help. It can help you and your loved one in the long run.

For any other questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.

[1] Source: https://caregiver.com/articles/track-medications-safely/

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