With the majority of older adults taking multiple prescription medications – a full 80% take at least two medications, and more than 50% take four or more –managing these medications is crucial to ensure they’re providing maximum benefit while minimizing side effects.
One important side effect of many prescriptions for seniors is the increased risk of falls. THE MEDICAL TEAM’s in-home care experts recommend seniors and their caregivers make sure they are fully informed about the medications being taken, by getting answers to the following questions from the prescribing physician:
- What side effects can be expected, and what’s the best way to minimize them? Talk to your doctor if you have side effects like dizziness, light headedness, sleepiness during the day, confusion, lack of coordination in the legs
- Is medication the only option to help with my condition, or are there non-medicinal alternatives?
- Should the medication be taken on an empty stomach, or with food?
- Should the senior refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages?
- How should the medication be stored?
- Will the medication expire?
- Is it safe to take over-the-counter meds or herbal supplements with this prescription?
- If a friend or family member takes the same medication, is it ok to share the prescription with that person?
- Should I be concerned about the potential for becoming addicted to this medication?
- What’s the best way to keep track of my meds to ensure I’m taking them exactly as prescribed?
Enlisting the help of a trusted professional home health care provider[, like THE MEDICAL TEAM, is a great way to stay on top of medication needs for seniors. We can provide medication reminders or even administer meds for the senior, assist with organizing medications, watch for any potential side effects and report them immediately to the doctor, and much more.
We can also help with home modifications and adaptive tools that will help further reduce the risk of falls for seniors, as well as assist with chores around the home such as housework, laundry, and meal preparation, allowing seniors the opportunity to relax and recover.