Polypharmacy refers to the use of multiple medications taken at the same time by a person. It means relying on many different medicines to keep health in check. Multi-medication is very common among people suffering from more than one medical condition. Mostly, the elderly rely on polypharmacy to treat different health conditions in their body.
Medications play a vital role in improving health among seniors. Elderly fall prey to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart diseases, eye diseases, chronic pain, and others. Different medications are used to treat such health conditions. But do you know that taking multiple medicines at the same time can harm their health?
Many medicines interact with each other that may lead to various side effects, including nausea, fever, shortness of breath, insomnia, depression, etc., it is, therefore, essential to managing the medication of your elderly parents or grandparents.
Here are some tips that manage polypharmacy among the elderly:
Administer medication as directed
Do not administer medication more than what is required. Always ensure that they take the right medicines in the right amount and at the right time. Many times, their doctor will also recommend taking medicines with or without food. Keep everything in check.
Make sure to allow correct intervals between medications prescribed for different health conditions. If all the medicines are given at the same time, they may interact with each other.
Review the medicine
When the doctor prescribes the medicines to the senior citizens, it is essential to review them. You can have a direct word with their doctor about the medicines and how they will affect their health.
If the doctor is not available to review the medicines, you can get them checked by the chemist to know about their effects on the health of the patient.
Know about the side-effects
Several medicines may or may not include side effects. However, it is integral that you educate yourselves about them. Thus, when you get a prescription for your elderly parents, inquire about all the side effects that any medicine can cause.
Do not get worried if the patient is suffering from side effects. Some of these negative effects are manageable at home. If the side effects are severe, get in touch with their doctor and request them to replace or stop the medicine. Some of the most common side-effects from the medication include headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, fever, etc.,
Ask questions about the new medicines
Whenever a doctor prescribes new medication to the elderly, it is essential to ask questions about those medicines. Find out what that particular new drug is for and how to take it. Ask if it is going to cause any side effects or not.
If the medication is prescribed for the long term, do not forget to ask how long to take it. Seniors usually start medicines and keep on consuming them, even when it is not necessary.
Track the medication
You can create a system to track their medication. It will help you in managing the medicines of your elderly parents properly. For this purpose, you can rely on some low-tech alternatives such as calendars or a weekly medicine box.
You can also download some phone apps or use a smartwatch to track the medication of your parents or grandparents.
Hire a homecare service
One of the best ways to manage medication and the health of your elderly parents is by opting for a homecare service. A certified nursing assistant assists the patient with daily activities and also keeps a check on their health.
A professional under homecare service will make it a point to administer the right medicine to the patient at the right time. It will ease the burden of taking care of your parents too.
Professional in-home care services are a valuable resource for appropriate medication management of the patients at home. All you need to do is gather the best leads. Start searching today.