Are you helping your senior loved one take medications? If you are (or might be in the future), then you must be mindful of medication safety.
What is medication safety and why is it important?
Medicines are intended to bring healing and wellness to an ill person. Yet, when they are not used according to instructions, medicines can cause harm to the patient. Medication safety ensures that the medicines you take are safe for you and are taken incompliance with the prescription or instructions. For patients who don’t observe medication safety, their health – and even life – can be at risk.
As a provider of in-home nursing care services, we help ensure that seniors who are taking medications take them safely. If you’re a caregiver assisting your loved one with medications, here are tips that can promote medication safety:
- Follow Prescriptions or Instructions
If a doctor or clinician prescribed your loved one’s medications, they will have specific prescription instructions. If your loved one’s medicines are over-the-counter (not prescribed), there are instructions on the drug’s container for safe intake. These prescriptions and instructions contain relevant information including dosage, frequency of intake, storage directive, any foods/drinks or other medications to avoid, and side effects. To promote your loved one’s safety, adhere to these prescriptions.
- Maintain a Medication List
It is helpful to keep a list of your aging loved one’s medications. As a trusted home care services provider in Illinois, our caregivers maintain a list of medications for our clients. Keeping a record of medicines, dosages, and how they take effect on the patient is hugely helpful. You will come to know which ones cause allergic reactions and which ones help their conditions improve. Record this on the Medication List. Include the purpose of each medication so that you can give them the right medicine for the right ailment.
- Know Drug Interactions
Medicines can have interactions with other elements we take into our body. Certain foods, beverages, or other medications might have interactions with medicines. For this reason, you must know which medicines can react to what. If your loved one is seen by different specialist physicians, make sure that each is aware of all medications your loved one currently takes. If you’re getting over-the-counter medications, confirm with the pharmacist that they will not react to their existing medicines. Being mindful of these reactions can help promote safety.
- Talk with Physicians
Another way to promote medication safety is to have regular discussions with your loved one’s physician or other clinicians. At all visits, bring up the topic of medication. Talk about the over-the-counter drugs that your loved one is taking and any reactions or results (positive or negative) to all medications.
As a provider of home care in Pingree Grove, Illinois, our team at Passionate Private Duty knows that medication safety is crucial for overall health and well-being. If you could use assistance in caring for your loved one, give us a call to learn how we can help!