Offer These Tips To Help Your Elderly Parent Manage His Or Her Medications
As your parent ages, he or she may begin to rely heavily on prescription medication to maintain a reasonable level of health that provides a desired quality of life. Unfortunately, if you notice that your parent is beginning to get forgetful or faces other health challenges, his or her ability to take the proper medication according to a set schedule may be a challenge. This can be concerning because failing to take medication or taking too much medication in error can have severe health consequences, which can especially be a concern if your parent lives alone at home. Here are some tips that you can offer your parent on this topic.
Use A Weekly Pill Organizer
A weekly pill organizer is a simple device, typically made of plastic and sold at most pharmacies, that will allow your parent to be better organized with taking his or her medication. Although these devices can vary in structure slightly, they're often divided into seven sections to represent the days of the week, and each section will often have three compartments to represent breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the start of the week, your parent can divide his or her medication into the compartments accordingly. For example, if there's a certain pill that needs to be taken with dinner, it can be placed in the "Dinner" compartments for each of the days of the week.
Rely On A Magnifier
Even if your parent's cognitive function is strong, his or her eyesight may be on the decline. It can be challenging to read the small print on prescription bottles, which puts your parent at risk of taking one form of medication while believing that it's another. This could potentially lead to taking too much of one medication and not enough of another. A potential solution to this problem lies in the use of a magnifier. Buy one for your parent and explain the need to keep it next to his or her medication bottles. Your parent can then use this device to clearly differentiate between medications.
Get Outside Help
If your parent continues to struggle with taking his or her medication, it's time to offer some outside help. While you can certainly lend a hand in this area, a better choice may be to hire a home health aide. These professional care workers are experienced in the administration of medication, meaning that the person who visits your parent's home will be able to organize the medication accordingly and even administer it at the suggested times. This in-home care can allow your parent to continue to live independently, rather than have to move into a care home.