Managing medication is a complicated role that often falls to the caregiver. This can involve going to the pharmacy, reminding the person receiving care when to take medications and even managing side effects or interactions.
Whether you are looking to save time, make managing medications easier or prevent medications from being forgotten, here are some tips that could help you :
- Always have on hand a current list of your loved one’s medications, including natural health products.
- Most pharmacies offer a delivery service, which is often free of charge for seniors. You could also save time by using online or telephone renewal services.
- To make medications easier to identify, you can request to have medication labels printed in large font.
- Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask the physician or pharmacist about your loved one’s medication.
- To prevent forgetting a dose or taking the wrong dose, the Dispill medication system might be a solution. This is a disposable pill dispenser, prepared by the pharmacist, in which each dose of medication is individually sealed.
- If your loved one takes medication that is not in pill form (pumps, patches, creams), place it near the pill dispenser to help your loved one remember it.
- If you work outside the home or you are absent during the day, you can program an alarm on your cell phone (or an alarm clock or your computer) at the times when medication should be taken. A simple phone call to remind the person you care for that it is medication time will reassure you.
- If your loved one has a large quantity of medications, it might be a good idea to check with the pharmacist to see if the medication regimen can be simplified. However, never make any changes to medication without first talking to a pharmacist or physician.
- If you suspect your loved one is taking too much or too little of the medication, talk to the pharmacist about it. The pharmacist will be able to assess the situation and suggest some individual solutions.
- Some medications may affect behaviour and increase confusion. It is important for you to know the potential side effects of medications. If you give medications to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, inform your physician or your pharmacist of any unexpected change in this respect.
The pharmacist is the medication expert. A pharmacist is an accessible professional who is available to support you and answer your questions about your loved one’s medication. The pharmacist can give you tips on managing and administering medications or individual advice based on your loved one’s situation.
For more information on medications and administering them to a loved one, do not hesitate to contact your pharmacist.