Most seniors take multiple medications simultaneously
to treat different medical conditions. Hence, it is important to know how to
help our loved ones administer their medication properly and avoid some of the
common medication mistakes.
Here are some things to take note of:
1. Ensure that it is the correct medication
Prescription drugs may sometimes have names that are hard to understand or are confusing
because they look similar in size, shape or colour. Storing and labelling
medicines properly or sorting daily medications in advance using an organizer
can prevent the wrong medications from being taken.
packing and sorting medications, always look out for their expiry dates. Taking
expired medication would hinder the effectiveness of the drug. Be mindful that
some medications might need to be handled differently as they are sensitive to light
2. Take the
correct dose of medication at the correct time
Ensure that your loved one only takes their medications
as prescribed and not overdose on any medication. Many medications need to be taken
at specific times for them to be effective. If your loved one has many
different medications to keep track of, using a pill box with compartments
labelled morning, afternoon and evening may help. This
allows you or your loved one to be mindful of different prescription
instructions without getting confused.
3. Help them stick
to their treatment plan
need to be taken consistently to be effective in managing your loved one’s
condition. Helping your loved one understand the benefits
and risks of each medication may increase his/her motivation to keep to the
prescription. Some elderly do not realise the importance of the medication in
managing their conditions and may intentionally skip their medicines because
they do not believe the medicines would help.
Reassuring and helping them understand the purpose of the
prescription would help them stick to the treatment plan. At the same time, you
could also find out if they have other concerns regarding the medications such
as bad experiences or side effects. Side effects can often be managed or
prevented as doctors can prescribe a different medication if the side effects
is important that your loved one continues taking their medicine at the same
time and same dosage as prescribed by the doctor, unless directed otherwise.
Ensure they don’t skip their medicine even if they feel better as conditions
such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure can threaten their health even
if they may feel fine.
4. Make medication
your loved one is largely independent, a daily check-in or reminder to prompt
him/her regarding medications might be sufficient. If he/she requires more
help, you may need to assist in administering the medication and ensuring that
your loved one takes the medication correctly and on time.
it easier for them to consume their medication by keeping medication in easy to
open containers or pill boxes, and check with the pharmacist if hard-to-swallow
medication can be cut or grinded, or be in another form such as a liquid
It is a good practice to keep a list of the medication
names, purposes, prescription instructions and medication allergies with you.
This would be useful for the doctors, nurses or other medical professionals to
understand your loved one’s condition better. Always review the medication list
after a doctor’s visit.
5. Seek assistance
to the treatment plan is important but can sometimes be complicated and
confusing. Feel free to talk to the doctor, the pharmacist or the nurse if you
have any doubt or problem regarding the medications.
Do you know that you can use the Carer app to manage your
medications and hire a local registered nurse for medication packing? You can also
get other care tips on the app. Download the
Carer app or call us to find out more.
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