My father is my mom’s caregiver. Due to a variety of health issues my mother takes several different medications daily. My father manages all the meds. He calls in the prescriptions, fills the pill organizer and administers. With so many medications it can be very confusing. Can you offer some advice on how to better manage all these meds?
~Cynthia, Massapequa Park, NY
Managing a loved one’s medications is a big responsibility and can be overwhelming especially when there’s more than one prescription. Medication errors are far too common among the elderly. There’s no surprise when you consider the number of drugs an individual takes. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 76 percent of adults over age 60 take at least two prescription drugs, and 37 percent use five or more. As your mother’s caregiver, your dad is juggling quite a bit. Reigning in this area will be a tremendous help to both of your parents.
The FDA suggests these six tips to avoid mistakes:
1. Know the names of the drugs.
2. Ask questions about how to use them.
3. Know what the drugs are treating.
4. Read labels & follow all directions.
5. Keep a list of all the medications.
For a more in-depth look at these tips go to U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Cynthia, you’re making a wise choice to get involved. I’m sure your parents appreciate it.
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