Many of our aging parents may be taking medications to treat ailments or disease. As someone who loves them, you may have concerns about the treatments and the difficulties of getting the correct dosages at the correct time. Here are three strategies for making sure your parents are safely taking their medications:
Communicate with your Parent and the Doctor
Ask your parent if they have been taking all of their medications correctly or if they have any concerns about their medications. If they have issues with the medications or schedule, it is important to consult their doctor to make the proper adjustments (DO NOT try to make these changes on your own). A doctor may be able to recommend alternative methods including extended-release pills, pill crushing or rescheduling.
Communicate with your Parent and the Pharmacist
Doctors check for interactions between medications, but a pharmacist is also available to be sure that all medications (and even over-the-counter supplements) are not interfering with each other. Pharmacists can often recommend alternative treatment if a medication has a certain side-effect or drawback.
Try New Packaging Options
Often, a simple pillbox or pill packaging can be helpful in making sure that the correct medications are delivered on time. Here at Medicine Center, we offer multiple packaging options to make what can be a confusing ordeal an easy, stress-free process.
One packaging option we offer is a weekly dosage card. These are arranged by day of the week and dosage time (morning, noon, evening, and bedtime), and each medication is carefully placed by the pharmacist in the appropriate time slot for each day of the week. To take the medications, you or your loved ones simply open the bubble pack on the correct day and time and take the medications contained in that slot.
Another packaging option we offer is our pill packet "baggie" system. In this option, the medications are packaged by date and dosage time in small, easy-open pouches. Each pouch is clearly labeled with not only the date and time, but a list of each medication in the pouch and their physical descriptions for your peace of mind. The pouches are connected in a strip which is put into a small box; taking your medications is as easy as tearing open the pouch and pulling out the strip so that your next dose is ready and waiting.
Each of these packaging options is an easy, cost-free way to stay organized and on track with your medications. Whether you need help organizing your own medications or have a loved one who struggles to manage it on their own, pharmacists want to help you take control of your medications with confidence, convenience, and care.
(Parts of this post adapted from http://www.pronvest.com/seeing-mom-dad-take-medications/ )