How Can Caregivers Avoid Medication Errors?

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Seniors often end up taking multiple medications each day to stay healthy and manage various medical conditions. However, it can be far too easy to mix up medications, take the wrong dosage, or forget to take a medication at the right time. Medication mishaps are one of the leading causes of health emergencies for seniors. As a caregiver, there are a few things you can do to make sure you and your senior loved one don’t end up making mistakes with medications.

Create a Master List of All Dosages and Medication Names

Work with your loved one’s doctor to create a definitive list that includes the names, dosages, and dosage times for every medication your loved one needs to take. It may be helpful to make a few copies of this list so you can keep one at your loved one’s home and give a copy to anyone else who provides care for him or her. Anytime there is uncertainty about when to take a medication, you can check the list to see the right option.

Keep Pills in Their Original Container

It’s essential to avoid ending up with a big bag of mixed pills. Several common senior medications look very similar, and they can easily be mistaken for each other if they aren’t kept in properly labeled containers.

For some seniors, failing to take medications correctly can have life-threatening consequences. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Fairfield seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Use a Pill Dispenser

If you’re willing to invest in a fancy version of a pill dispenser, it may be an easy solution for your problems. Thanks to medical technology, there are plenty of dispensers that allow you to load in several medications and set a time for the machine to dispense each pill. Even simpler versions that allow you to sort out all the pills your loved one needs to take for each day of the week can be helpful in some situations. 

If you aren’t always able to be with your loved one to make sure he or she takes medications correctly, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Fairfield, in-home 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.

Dispose of Medications That Are No Longer Used

Having a big collection of almost-empty pill bottles is just asking for trouble. You or your loved one may end up mixing up one of these outdated medications with a new prescription, leading to issues with overdosing or harmful pill interactions. To avoid this major cause of medication mishaps, throw out pills once your loved one is done with the prescribed course of medication.

Talk to the Doctor If a Dose Is Missed

No matter how careful you are, there may come a time when a dosage accidentally gets skipped. If this occurs, give your loved one’s doctor a call and ask for a recommendation on how to proceed. It may be dangerous to wait until the next dosage for some types of medication, while others may cause problems if you try to double a dosage or they are taken at a different time.

Seniors need to make sure they take medications as prescribed, and having a professional caregiver close by can be just what an aging adult needs to be reminded how and when to take medicine. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Fairfield senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at 203-955-1915 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.