Senior Safety: Caregiver Sanity

December 19, 2012

In a time when over medication of seniors is rampant and drug inter-reactions are frequent, caregiver management of senior medications is absolutely crucial.

Managing numerous prescriptions for seniors can be challenging for caregivers on many levels. Besides the what, when and how, we must question the why, questioning doctors and informing ourselves about the health needs of our senior.

Challenges can include making sure the senior is...

• Taking the correct medications

• Heeding instructions on warning labels

• Timing the medications properly

• Adhering to the correct daily doses

• Still maintaining some responsibility for their own medication management

• Receiving necessary medications

Helpful suggestions:

• Organization is key

• Leave medications in their original containers

• Use organizational systems such as pillboxes

• Alarm clocks or cell phone alarms can help maintain senior independence

• Have visual prompts such as clear lists and schedules for medications

• Stay in contact with the senior's physician(s), asking questions regarding treatments and challenging when appropriate

• Be informed of any possible side effects and actions that need to be taken if they occur

There are about 125,000 deaths in the US each year caused by seniors taking medications improperly.

It is essential that caregivers of seniors manage the medications of their parent or loved one accurately. Their safety is your responsibility!

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