Community Blog

Questions to Ask About Your Parent’s Prescriptions during Talk About Prescriptions Month

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Caregivers in Townsend MT

October is Talk About Prescriptions Month. As a family caregiver this is the ideal time for you to learn important techniques for how you can help your aging loved one remain compliant with their medications and treatments. Medication compliance is vital to protecting your aging parent’s health and well-being, ensuring that their treatments are as effective as possible while also keeping them safe. Empowering your loved one to understand their medications completely and then doing what you can to encourage them to stay on track and do what they need to do to take care of themselves.

Some of the questions that you should ask your parent’s prescriptions during Talk About Prescriptions Month and throughout the rest of the year include:

• What is the name of the medication? It is important that you know not just what type of medication that your parent is taking, but the actual name of that medication. This will enable you to keep track of any conflicts or side effects mentioned in literature that you read about these medications. This also allows you to keep the most thorough and accurate records of your parent’s health and medical history.

• What is your parent’s diagnosis? You and your parent should know not just what they are taking, but what that medication is supposed to treat. This allows you to communicate more effectively with all members of your parent’s medical team and to ensure that your parent’s individual needs are being addressed effectively. It is not always so easy as to know what your parent was complaining about when they went to the doctor or to know what the “usual” thing that that medication treats. Sometimes doctors prescribe medications for issues that are not their most predictable application, and it is important that your parent and you understand that so that you are fully informed about that medication.

• What is the proper dosage? In order for your aging parent to remain compliant with their medication guidelines, they need to have all of the information to do so. This means knowing the proper dosage of the medication, how it is ingested or applied, how often it is taken or used, and any specific instructions such as whether they need to take it with food or if they should not lie down after taking it.

• What are potential side effects? Virtually all medications have some risk of side effects. These are usually mild and do not seriously interfere with your loved one’s functioning or quality of life. Knowing which of these effects your parent might anticipate can help them to prepare themselves and not be as upset should they occur. It is important to note that some side effects can be serious and may even threaten your parent’s health and wellbeing. You should know these possible effects so that if your aging loved one starts to experience one of them, you will know how to respond as promptly and effectively as possible.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Townsend, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438 - 2231.