When we’re younger, medication management isn’t too hard to deal with. Up to the time we’re in our mid-30s or 40s, we might be taking only a few pills per day to manage pain, depression, and sleep, along with the occasional multivitamin. For seniors, it’s different. Once you get to a certain age, it’s hard to get away with taking a few basic meds. In order to prevent health problems and keep seniors active and sharp for longer, it’s important that the senior in your life takes the right meds and gets the right advice from qualified doctors. Whether your senior lives alone or has a bit of help from Seniors Helping Seniors Baton Rouge, it’s important that they’re getting all the help they need on a daily basis. If you have a senior who could use a bit of extra care when it comes to prescription management, here are a few ways you can help.
Check and Double Check
You should always trust your doctor when it comes to prescriptions for the senior in your life. That said, blind trust isn’t always the best option, especially when you’re dealing with medical practitioners who have a lot of patients and are juggling a ton of different cases at once. If you’re not sure why a doctor is prescribing or taking away a certain medication, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Doctors are only human: They’re capable of making mistakes. While most of the time they have our best interests at heart, it never hurts to stay aware of what’s being prescribed and how it’s working to help or hinder senior health, rather than simply assuming that a doctor always knows best. Read up on certain drugs, come to doctor’s appointments with a list of prepared questions, and don’t be shy about letting your senior’s doctor know about adverse reactions and side effects.
Don’t Assume Everything Goes Together
It’s not uncommon for seniors to take a large handful of separate medications each day, especially if they’re dealing with a bunch of different ailments. As their helper or concerned friend, however, it’s up to you to make sure that none of the medications they’re taking have the potential to create a bad reaction or a clash of intent. Some medications work well together without creating any kind of an issue, while others can end up wreaking havoc on a senior’s system. Be aware of certain drugs that all seniors are warned to use with caution, such as any medications on the Beer’s List, and be aware of drug combinations that by no means should ever be used on seniors. Again, even if your doctor has the best of intentions, it’s always good to know your stuff and double-check.
Create a Firm Schedule
One of the best ways to make sure a senior’s meds actually work is to have your senior stick to a regular schedule. While this might be a simple enough task for a senior who’s not struggling with memory problems or any kind of long-term degenerative disease, it can be more difficult for seniors who aren’t feeling quite as sharp as they used to be. Luckily, there are a few easy solutions to this problem. One is to make sure you’re the one implementing the schedule. You can do this by setting up calls or installing phone alerts, or you can hire an in-home helper or nurse to make sure your senior never skips a day of meds. Hopefully your senior will be used to taking different kinds of medications through the week, so forgetting a day won’t be as much of a problem. Still, any way you can find to make it easier and more intuitive for your senior to follow through on a routine will go a long way in terms of keeping them healthy.
When In Doubt, Ask Your Doctor
Doctors can prescribe all kinds of meds for different concerns. However, they can only be effective at prescribing aids if they actually know what’s going on with their patients. This is where you come in. If you’re helping out a senior whose memory is going or simply isn’t able to function quite as well as they used to, it can be helpful for you to engage with their doctor to talk about solutions. While a senior might not be able to describe the issue themselves, you can use what you’ve noticed as a way to keep track of how the current meds are working. Together with your senior’s health professional, you can figure out what’s helping, what’s hurting, and what’s lacking in the current course of treatment.