Community Blog

5 Easy Tips for Managing Medication

By Ketan Patel

The unwanted effects of prescription medication is in the news these days, from the widespread opiod epidemic to the detrimental side effects suffered by well-known celebrities. As your parents age, it can become more difficult to keep track of prescription drugs. An in-home caregiver can help by picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy, monitoring your loved one and alerting you to problems should they arise.

Fortunately, there are some easy strategies you can follow to help your loved one take the right prescription drugs in the right combination and at the right dosage.

Tip #1: Review the Medication List

Ask the doctor to go over the medication record every time you visit. There may be new information about the medication you are taking, or there may be a new and better drug on the market. Your loved one’s doctor may be able to connect a symptom to a side effect of the medication and decide to reduce or eliminate the drug entirely.

Tip #2: Know your Drugs

Some people, especially the older generation, take prescribed medication no questions asked. However, it is important to understand why your loved one is taking each prescription drug. That way, you or your loved one can determine if there are multiple medications being prescribed for the same disorder.

Tip #3: Use Organizers and Reminders

For some seniors, all they need to take their medication properly is a weekly or monthly pill organizer. Some pill organizers indicate the time of the day, such as morning, noon and night. Pill dispensers can also help keep your loved one on track. Now there are medication monitoring systems that provide an alert when it is time for medication. Some monitoring systems will alert you or the caregiver through a cell phone app if the senior does not take his or her medication on time.

Tip #4: Use the Same Pharmacy

By using the same pharmacy for all your loved one’s prescriptions, you can make it easy to determine if there are any concerns about for all your aging parent’s medications. The pharmacist can see if there are any drug combinations that are problematic, and if the medication or the dosage is not appropriate for an aging senior. Using the same pharmacy can also make it easier to ask questions about side effects, dosage or other issues.

Tip #5: Carry a Medication Checklist

It is important for your loved one to carry a current medication list in case of an emergency, and caregivers should have the list as well. The medication list should have the name of the drug, the proper dosage, the frequency, how the drug should be taken and the reason the drug is prescribed. If your loved one has a medical problem that requires hospitalization, one of the first questions will be about the medication list to prevent overmedication and dangerous drug interactions. The medication checklist should also include vitamins and over-the-counter drugs.

For further information about managing your medications, visit the NIH Senior Health website by clicking here.

Hiring a Caregiver

When you need a healthcare companion to help with caregiving responsibilities, contact Home Helpers of South Shore at 781-585-1244. Learn about the support we provide to make your life easier and improve your loved one’s quality of life.

We serve the following communities:

Abington , Braintree , Brockton , Buzzards Bay , Carver , Cohasset, Dighton , Duxbury , Falmouth , Halifax , Hanson , Hingham , Holbrook , Hull , Humarock , Kingston , Lakeville , Marshfield , Mashpee , Middleboro , Norwell , Pembroke , Plymouth , Plympton , Quincy , Randolph , Rockland , Sandwich , Scituate , Taunton , Wareham , Weymouth , Whitman