Medication safety is something that dementia caregivers need to have on the forefront of their minds. Those who are being treated for dementia will likely be taking several different medications for it, and are likely to be medicated for other conditions, too. Medications, while normally helpful, can be dangerous when not taken correctly — when improperly mixed together, or when taken at doses higher than prescribed.
What can caregivers do to prevent unsafe medication use, though? Here are some suggestions:
- Coordinate all doctors and medical providers. Your loved one may have different doctors prescribing different drugs, and they may not be aware of what other medications your loved one is taking. Ensure that you facilitate communication by keeping an up-to-date medication list, and providing copies for all doctors.
- Ask your pharmacist about any possible drug interactions, especially when picking up a new prescription. Your medication list may come in handy here too.
- Research each medication until you understand how it is supposed to work, and what the potential side effects are. If you witness any of those side effects, report it to the prescribing physician right away.
- Make sure your loved one never takes medications in a way other than what is prescribed; do not try to mitigate side effects by changing up the dosages on your own, but rather consult your doctor!
- Use a pill box organizer and create a daily routine for administering medications, minimizing confusion.
- If your loved one has a hard time swallowing medications, ask if the same drug is available in a different form.
Medication safety is something to strive for. Use these tips, and if you need additional care or supervision, please contact us to learn more about what we can offer at the nearest CountryHouse location.
Learn more about keeping your loved one safe at CountryHouse!