Warning Signs of Medication Mismanagement
November 6, 2018As elderly people grow more dependent on family caregivers and elderly care providers for their daily needs, it’s important to remember medication management. Chances are your aging loved one is taking two or more prescription medications for various health issues and age-related conditions. With multiple medications, it’s easy to get confused. When doses are skipped or taken incorrectly, it can lead to serious health issues. Elderly Care in Santa Cruz CA: Warning Signs of Medication Mismanagement It’s common for family caregivers to take over medication management, with help from other family members and elderly care providers. The good news is that with a little effort, it’s easy to manage medications properly and eliminate the health hazards that improper usage brings.Red Flag #1: Mismanaging the Home and Self.With age, many seniors struggle to complete daily tasks for themselves. This is often due to decreased mobility and even cognitive decline. You may notice that they struggle to get dressed, keep the house clean, and do laundry. Often, bills go unpaid and they may forget about appointments or have a hard time getting to the grocery store. If your aging loved one is struggling to manage their life, you can bet that they are also likely mismanaging their medications.Red Flag #2: Full Pill Bottles.If you find full and unopened prescription bottles in various locations, it usually means your aging loved one is no longer taking their medication. It could be they simply forgot, or they struggle to open the bottles themselves. Sometimes, seniors simply don’t like the way medication makes them feel, especially if the side effects are uncomfortable or take some getting used to. It’s possible that elderly adults might hide medication they don’t like taking and remain in denial about their importance to their health and wellness.Red Flag #3: Recurring Symptoms of Illness.In many cases, your elderly relative may be showing symptoms of the original illness that the pills should be treating. Because they are not taking the medication, the illness is going untreated and they won’t be making progress health-wise. This can be especially dangerous for degenerative conditions like diabetes. Millions of seniors end up in the hospital each year due to untreated illnesses and diseases because of medication mismanagement. If it’s obvious that your elderly loved one is not properly managing their medication, there are several things you can do. First, create a current list of all the medications, doses, and instructions from the doctor including how and when to take them. Next, gather all the medication into one place for easy tracking. Then, do a weekly sort using a pill organizer, making it easy to see what should be taken each day. Finally, let elderly care providers and other family members know about reminding your aging relative when to take the medicine. Elderly care providers are particularly adept at reminding seniors about medication as well as tracking it for your information. Elderly care providers are not permitted to administer medication, but they can be valuable assets in managing them.