When it comes to taking prescribed medications, following the doctor’s orders may not be sufficient. Moreover, certain treatments that may prove beneficial for many seniors, can actually be detrimental to others. Creating a safety checklist for your elderly family member’s medications will help you spot potential issues before they become big problems.
1. Look for Signs of Overtreatment
Adult children who provide home care in Omaha for their aging parents will want to keep an eye open for overtreatment, as many seniors have been prescribed larger doses of certain medications than actually necessary. This is commonly the case for prescription drugs used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes. If an aging adult is over-treated for hypertension, this can lead to low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting spells. Over-treatment with diabetes medications can result in low blood sugar, which will in turn create a host of serious health problems. In instances such as these, having the senior’s dosage adjusted will limit the likelihood of injury and increase the efficacy of his or her overall treatment plan.
2. Follow-up on Symptoms
When medications are prescribed for alleviating symptoms, make sure that these symptoms are being regularly reviewed by doctors for signs of improvement. You can also make a list of possible, alternative remedies that may alleviate problems like discomfort, stiffness or inflammation without the need for prescription drugs and that are not likely to entail a range of unpleasant side effects.
3. Check the Beers List
The Beers List is a listing of potentially inappropriate medications for seniors. When a senior’s medication is on this list, this does not necessarily mean that the prescribing doctor has made major diagnostic or treatment errors. It does, however, warrant a thorough review of the benefits and drawbacks of using the medication and an effort to find possible, natural alternatives that will provide similar benefits with fewer risks.
4. Look for Signs of Drug Interactions
Many seniors take multiple medications and some may be receiving prescriptions from both their primary care physician and their specialty providers. This makes the likelihood of drug interactions fairly high. Make a list of all of the prescription drugs that your senior family member is taking along with the issue that each is intended to treat. You can bring this list to your local pharmacist who can help determine whether these drugs interact with one another. You’ll also want to share this information with all physicians involved in your loved one’s care.
For more information on senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Healthy living is the foundation of our Balanced Care Method, which focuses on a nutritious diet, physical activity, calm and purpose, and emotional health. Learn more by calling (402) 763-9140 and speaking with a friendly Care Manager today.