Helping take care of an aging parent is common for adults. Providing transportation and helping take care of the house are common tasks, but assisting with prescription management should be a high priority.
Prescription medications become a common part of life with the aging process. Medications can do everything from manage pain to lower blood pressure and cholesterol to treat depression. They are tools to help make life better, in some cases even prolong it, but a long list of medications can become overwhelming and even dangerous. Proper management is key to avoiding overdose and to keep track of any red flags that might point to addiction or drug abuse. There are several ways to keep track of and successfully manage a senior citizen's weekly medication routine.
Write a List or Make a Chart
Medications all have different dosages and specifications. Sit down and write a list of all of the different prescriptions, when they need to be taken, how often, if they need to be taken with food, if alcohol can be consumed, if any particular over the counter medications can't be taken with the drug, and any other important information. Keep this information in list form or create a chart. Make copies so that more than one exists in case it is lost or needed during an emergency. It might also be wise to take the list to a doctor or pharmacist to double check there is no risk of a dangerous interaction between the medications on the list.
Store Drugs in One Place
Purchase a plastic bin or some other type of storage container to keep track of all medications in one place. Purchase a day of the week pill keeper and spend time at the beginning of the week filling the container with the required dosages.
Use One Convenient Pharmacy
Keeping prescriptions all in one place is an easy way to keep track of all necessary medications and will save a lot of complications. Using an online pharmacy option, like the Kmart Pharmacy at mygofer.com, makes ordering and refilling prescriptions easier. In addition, you will be able to keep track of the number of times a prescription is ordered to make sure there is no suspicious ordering activity, which can point to a potential addiction.
You should also ensure that your pharmacy is convenient for you. The auto refill option through Kmart Pharmacy at mygofer.com will come in handy because you won't need to worry about when you need a refill. The prescription orders are automatically placed for you at your designated intervals. They also offer home delivery in Chicago and the surrounding areas!
Prescription drug abuse among senior citizens is on the rise. Those over the age of 65 are more likely to be prescribed potentially addictive medications than any other age group, and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains that in 2005, roughly 10% of those Americans seeking treatment for a drug addiction were over the age of 50. It is important to make note of any sudden behavioral changes, like increased irritability or forgetfulness. Sneaky behavior, unwillingness to talk about prescriptions, or finding secret stashes of pills also point to possible addiction. In addition, watch for signs of overdose like slowed breathing or confusion. It's important to seek professional help in either situation.
Over prescribing medications is another common problem among the elderly. If you're concerned about the amount of medications prescribed, don't be afraid to ask questions. Speak to the prescribing physician about why each medication is prescribed, if it is completely necessary, what the risk factors of prolonged use are, and if there might be any other alternatives to certain medications on the list. If the doctor is not open to discussion, consider finding a new physician.