Medication management and compliance can be tricky for elderly patients. Whether it is cognitive issues impairing seniors’ ability to remember when to take their medication, or physical problems like vision difficulties impeding correct medication management, elderly patients face numerous issues in this regard.
Luckily, there are things caregivers and family members can do to ensure medications are taken correctly.
If a senior has a hard time remembering to take medications, caregivers should work to combat this with reminders like containers with labelled compartments, or containers that beep to indicate that it is time for dosage. Caregivers can also take over the administration of medications if need be.
Physical difficulties like impaired vision or hearing can be tackled with the help of healthcare providers. Pharmacists can provide large-type medication labels, and healthcare professionals can ensure patients hear all instructions by speaking loudly and/or writing down important information.
If a senior has a difficult time physically opening bottles, dispensing medication from droppers, or handling injections, a caregiver or healthcare provider can step in to help administer. For patients with swallowing issues, there may be other forms of a medication available that do not require swallowing.
Clearly, many of the problems of medication management for elderly people can only be rectified with help from support people. It is important to have a good relationship with a senior’s pharmacist, doctor, caregivers, and other team members to ensure everyone is doing all they can to make it easy for each patient to get the medication he or she needs.
Support people also need to be on the lookout for medication-related problems, that can show when patients are struggling with things like remembering to take medications, or needing a dosage or medication change. Be aware of any symptoms that seem new or strange, and discuss them with a health provider as soon as possible.