Focus on Medication

Focus on Medication

The older your parents get, the more likely it is that they’re taking a variety of medications for various ailments and chronic conditions. At S.A.F.E., we suggest a number of things be done to ensure the safety of your parents with regard to medication. Ensure all medications are necessary. It may be that your parents have been on one or more drugs for some time, and perhaps the necessity of taking them has passed. Obviously this is not a decision you can make (and nor can your parents), but it’s not a bad idea to sit down with them and their primary care physician to review every medication and confirm it’s still needed (or not). Ensure all doctors communicate. This goes hand and hand with the first point, as it’s important that your parents’ primary care physician knows what specialists are prescribing, and vice versa. If your parents fill all their prescriptions at the same pharmacy, a sharp pharmacist should notice any interaction problems — but it’s better to be proactive and ensure the prescribing doctors know everything your parents are taking. Keep a list of all medications. This list, which should include supplements and over-the-counter drugs as well as prescription medications, should be kept in an easily accessible place in your parents’ home. In the event that first responders are called to handle a medical emergency, this list can literally be a lifesaver. (Having a medication/supplement list at hand is actually a good idea for everyone.) Create a medication system. How are your parents keeping track of when they’re supposed to take their medications? It can be tricky...
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