Each year, the CDC releases a report on medications older adults take. It was found that close to 40 percent of all adults 65 or older fills prescriptions for at least five medications each month. Close to 50 percent filled one to four prescription medications. At the same time, emergency rooms across the U.S. reported an increase in the number of visits regarding adverse reactions or overdoses of prescription medications.
CDC reports also find that delaying or not taking prescription medications can worsen a person’s health. Do you know how many prescription medications your dad takes? Is he taking them correctly? It’s a good discussion to have with him each month. These are the steps you need to take.
Find Out What He Takes
Ask your dad to show you the prescription bottles for anything he takes. See if he’s holding any unfilled prescription slips. If he hasn’t had them filled due to the cost, work with him to make sure he has them filled. If you’re allowed, you could verify with his doctors that he has all of the medications that have been recommended.
Go over each medication. See how often he takes it, how he’s supposed to take it, and how many pills are left. You could get him on a mail-order service that ensures he always has the medications before he runs out. Medicare can help you with this.
Talk About the Importance and Dosing
Talk to your dad about why he’s taking a medication. Go over the dosing instructions and make sure he takes it correctly. If he forgets to take his medications, ask him what he does? If the pills are supposed to be taken immediately, he should do that. If taking two doses close together is risky, the instructions may be to wait until the next dose.
What you don’t want is your dad to take two pills instead of one. If he missed a dose of something and decides to take two pills when it’s time for his next dose, he could overdose.
It may be easier for him to have pills set up in a medication management tool. A pill organizer is an affordable, simple way to keep all of his pills organized. They come in different styles. You could have one that separates medications by the time of day or one that just groups all pills together for the day.
If you’re worried about him taking too many, there are timed pill organizers that only allow the door to open when it’s the right time. An audible alarm goes off when it’s time to take his pills.
Hire Elder Care Providers to Help With Medication Reminders
Elder care helps with medications. Have a caregiver come to your dad’s home each day to remind him to take his medications on time. Caregivers can also order refills and pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy. Make arrangements by calling an elder care agency in your community.
If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Walnut Creek, CA, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Walnut Creek. (925) 203-3039.