Caregiver Corner: Managing Medications

If you’re a caregiver for a senior, one of the most important tasks is managing medications. As we age, it becomes necessary to manage more health conditions with medications, so many seniors are prescribed multiple medications. Since each one has different instructions, it can be confusing for seniors to decide which pills they need to take at which time. Here are some tips for caregivers to help you manage all those medications for the seniors in your life.

Use a pill organizer. There are multiple options on the market for pill organizers, so it’s important to choose the right one. The first step is checking with your senior’s doctor to be sure it’s safe to store the pills outside of the original bottle. Next, find a pill organizer with a proper seal to ensure that no contaminants reach the pills before it’s time for your senior to take them. Some organizers have a double seal, with an outside case and an inside pill organizer for better protection.

Use a single pharmacy and doctor, if possible. Be sure that your senior is using only one doctor and pharmacy for medication needs. If they are also seeing a specialist, choosing one in the same medical network with a shared records system is ideal. That way, all medications will be checked for interactions before prescribing.

Know the side effects. Talk with your senior’s doctor to research all the medications prescribed so you can be on the lookout for signs of side effects. Make a list of side effects for each medication and note which ones are considered serious so that you can get help for your senior if needed.

Read labels. Read the label and prescribing packet, if available, for every medication your senior uses. Write out a chart to determine which pills will be taken when, whether they need to be taken with food, and whether they need to be taken separately from other medications or vitamins. Be sure to follow all prescription instructions exactly.

Monitor compliance. If you’re with your senior during every dose, set up reminders to ensure that your senior takes his or her medication properly and on time. Check regularly to be sure your senior isn’t skipping any medications, especially if he or she has cognitive or mobility difficulties.

Medications can help seniors live a longer, healthier life when administered property. As a caregiver, it’s important to be sure your senior is taking their medication properly. And when it’s time to consider moving to a senior living facility, connect with the expert senior care professionals at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living. Our amenities and recreational programs are designed to provide seniors with a healthy, active lifestyle in a friendly, caring community. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information. Ask us about our move-in special! Ashbridge Manor is a safe, COVID-free senior living community.