Medication Safety For Your Elderly Parent
One of the secondary effects of aging is taking more medications. The above 65 age group is prescribed more medication than any other age group. But research shows that one of every 10 elderly is admitted to hospital because of adverse reactions to the drugs prescribed. How can medications be safely administered to this vulnerable group without compromising on the benefits that help them live a longer and more active life?
To answer this, we first need to understand the factors that put them at risk:
- With aging, people are more likely to be prescribed more than one kind of medication due to the chronic illnesses they might develop. This exposes them to drug interactions and thus, potential side effects.
- The changes in the digestive, circulatory and excretory system, as people age, affect how the body is able to absorb, use and eliminate the excessive medication.
- Other changes like poor eye sight or memory loss can cause difficulties in following instructions
- Non-availability of help/aid to refill medication, as needed, may lead to skipped doses.
Although your physician will be cognizant of these issues while prescribing medications, here are some recommendations that you could follow to maximize the benefits and minimize the side effects for your loved ones:
Review the Medication History: Make a list of all the medication, including the over the counter drugs, your loved one is taking, their dosage, why it was prescribed, their potential side effects and for how long it is supposed to be taken. If you are unsure about any of them, do speak to the physician and clarify as soon as possible.
Do your Research: When there are two or more drugs prescribed, especially by different specialists, do speak to the
physician/s or pharmacist about possible interactions between the drugs, between certain food items and the drugs, what to do when a dosage is missed etc.
- Ask Questions: When a new medication is prescribed, ask the physician why it has been given, what should be the outcome while taking the drug, how it can influence the other medications etc.
- Organize Effectively: Use pill boxes with labelled compartments to store medications.
- Get Help with Delivery: If possible, develop a relationship with a pharmacy and ensure that they take up the responsibility for delivery of the medication. This way, it can be ensured that the same brand is delivered at all times and there are no issues to refill.
How can India Home Health Care help?
India Home Health Care Pvt. Ltd. offers monthly or bimonthly visits by Registered Nurses to assess the health status of the elderly parents. We have developed a detailed health assessment tailored to the Indian population. Our Registered Nurses are trained professionals with experience in hospital setups and are therefore well equipped to handle any situation at the
Each visit is structured to identify any changes in the health status, in addition to reviewing the medication intake and check the environment of the patient’s home to assess the safety from a health perspective. Medication review includes checking the medication, organizing them and arranging for refills, thus ensuring that risk due to multiple medication is reduced.
Please call our Chennai Hot line number: 044-4284 9777, Bangalore Hot line number: 96866 69538 for more information