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How to Help Seniors Reduce the Risk of Medication Mishaps

By , 9:00 am on

Many older adults rely on medications for various health issues, and the average senior may be taking up to 10 medications per day. It’s easy to get confused with all the different pills seniors need to take at various times, especially if they have dementia or other impairments. If you’re concerned about your senior loved one making a mistake with medications, consider taking the following steps.

Make a Detailed Medication List

Prepare a list with the brand name, generic name, dosage, and timing of the medicines your loved one takes. Creating a list is important because it may be difficult to rely on your own memory when talking to doctors or sorting out your parent’s medications. Having a master list that contains all the information about your loved one’s medicines may lower the chances of forgetting about one or mixing them up. 

Older adults with serious health issues are more susceptible to medication mishaps than healthy seniors. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in North Broward, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Label and Color Code Medications

Many medication mishaps happen because seniors don’t realize which bottle they’re taking a pill from. Consider printing out a large label if your loved one has impaired vision. Since many medications have similar names, it might be helpful to color code them. It’s often easy to remember to take one pill from a red, blue, and green bottle.

Use a Pill Organizer

Seniors who rely on multiple medications can benefit from a labeled pill organizer. A pill organizer can help you divide up pills into containers based on days. Then your loved one just needs to remember to take all the medications in one box on the correct day. There are many options to choose from, ranging from simple slotted boxes to elaborate machines that automatically dispense medications. 

Older adults who need help with medication management should consider professional in-home care. In North Broward, elder care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Set Alarms on a Phone or Clock

In some situations, seniors may need to take certain medications at a specific time of day. It can be difficult to remember to take one pill every three hours, chew a tablet every 12 hours, and swallow a different pill every five hours. Create alarms for each pill, and make sure the alarms clearly state which medication your loved one should take.

Read Labels Carefully

Many medication mishaps occur because people don’t follow instructions. Make sure you and your loved one are fully aware of when to take the medication and what foods and other medicines might interact with the medicine poorly. A surprisingly high number of medication mishaps occur when seniors swallow tablets that should be dissolved or drink a liquid that should be sprayed.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. North Broward, Florida, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging parent, give us a call at 954-906-5161 today.