With the start of a new year, it’s a good time to start getting your parents’ house organized. The medicine cabinet is one of the places you should put on your list. These are the things you should be checking.
Are the Medications in Date?
Have any of the prescription or over-the-counter medications expired? If they have, they need to be disposed of properly. Prescriptions need to go back to the pharmacy, a police department drop off, or a medicine drop-off event. This keeps them from getting into the wrong hands.
Your parents shouldn’t be taking expired medications. They may not cause damage, but they are less effective and won’t be as useful in treating whatever they’re meant to treat.
Are Any Medications Not Meant to Be Used Together?
Make sure your parents don’t have medications that shouldn’t be used together. Your mom is taking blood thinners following a stroke. If that’s the case, she should not be using aspirin or ibuprofen without talking to her doctor. Your dad shouldn’t take cold medicines or herbal supplements without asking his doctor.
Use a website to check the medications your dad takes. You want to familiarize yourself with the common side effects. You want to see if there are foods or beverages your parents should be avoiding. If you have questions, you want to ask their doctors why they’re taking a medication.
Go through prescription medications and see how many pills are left. If your mom’s bottle of blood thinners was filled two weeks ago and 25 pills are left, you have to wonder if she’s taking them each day. Keep an inventory. The next time you visit, see how many pills are left. If you visit a week later and there are 23 pills left, she’s not taking them enough.
The other issue involves taking too many pills. Your dad’s anti-anxiety medications were filled a week ago and there are only 10 pills left in the bottle. He’s taking too many. That also needs to be addressed.
Senior Care Providers Can Help With Medication Reminders
If you notice there are more pills than there should be, it’s time to talk about a system to help her remember to take them. If there are not enough pills, someone needs to lock them away after the daily dosage. This is where it becomes important to look into the medication reminder services senior care aides provide.
Senior care aides can remind your parents when it’s time to take their prescription medications. They can spend time with your parents after to watch for some of the more troubling side effects like dizziness or nausea. Call our senior care agency to learn more about these and other caregiver services.