Proper Medication Adherence Saves Lives!
While many people may think they are following the rules when it comes to their prescriptions, medication adherence mistakes happen frequently, and the effects can be disastrous – particularly for older adults, often leading to hospitalization. In other instances, seniors intentionally avoid following the prescribing doctor’s recommendations – such as by cutting prescriptions in half to save money and make the medication last longer, or by avoiding the medication altogether, feeling as though it’s not necessary or causes unwanted side effects.
It’s crucial to ensure that a medication is never stopped or modified without first consulting the physician. Yet for busy family members, it can be challenging to stay on top of their senior loved ones’ medication regimen and make sure it’s being followed safely and accurately.
If you think your senior loved one may need some help managing medications, an in-home senior caregiver can be a lifesaver. Home care agencies, like Home & Hearth Caregivers of Chicago, provide services that help keep seniors on the path to proper medication adherence. For example, our caregivers can:
- Coordinate and communicate between healthcare professionals—including keeping all involved updated on all the meds the senior is taking.
- Teach the importance of taking meds and provide reminders to take them.
- Coordinate delivery of meds through mail order and/or provide transportation to pick up meds.
- Pick up prescribed medications after a hospital stay.
- Check for contraindications prior to purchasing new medications for the client.
- Record information from the label of each prescription and track warnings and possible side effects.
- Encourage the use of a pill organizer and/or an automated medication reminder system.
- Provide a system for checking that medications were taken.
Caregivers can also provide safe transportation for seniors and accompany them to their doctor appointments. During an appointment, caregivers can provide the medical team with a list of all medications being taken, take notes to ensure nothing falls through the cracks, and then communicate with the pharmacist if the senior has any special requirements, such as liquid medicine as opposed to hard-to-swallow pills.
At Home & Hearth Caregivers, serving the Chicagoland area, we provide the necessary services and assistance to help our home care clients manage their medications for improved health and quality of life. Contact us at 708-352-4663 to learn more about how our in-home care services can help your loved one.