Always Keep Your Caregiver and Pharmacist Informed About Your Medications
These days, most seniors are on multiple medications, so it’s essential to have proper medication management in place so that caregivers and pharmacists can properly support your health. Here are some insights and tips from our senior home health care services team in New Jersey.
The Importance of Keeping Caregivers and Pharmacists Informed
Medications are essential to treating health conditions, improving your quality of life and alleviating all kinds of unpleasant symptoms – but only if they are administered properly.
For caregivers, this means:
- Supplying the right doses of different medications the right way, at the right time of day.
- Being aware of potential negative drug interactions and side effects.
- Monitoring prescriptions and setting up deliveries or reminders to ensure you don’t run out of medication, or that you can get a repeat prescription with ease.
- Tracking medication to ensure it is not expiring, that it’s the right medication the patient should be taking, and to ensure that patients are not double dosing by mistake.
- Informing medical specialists and hospitals as to the different medications, supplements, herbal remedies, antibiotics, vitamins and over the counter drugs you are on, their dosages, etc. rather than having to rely on memory.
Any error in medication management by a caregiver can have a serious impact on your health. To avoid this, they need to know exactly which medications you are on, the dosage and frequency it should be taken, the directions the physician has given for taking the medication (with food, time of day, etc.) and potential side effects and interactions the medication may have. This way, they can monitor your health properly and report any issues to your doctor. In emergency situations, they will also be able to give the hospital important information on the medications you are taking so that they can treat you effectively.
It’s also important to talk to your pharmacist and let them know about all the different medications you are on. This is especially important if you fill your prescriptions at different pharmacies, as you run the risk of being prescribed a medication you do not need or one that interacts negatively with another medication. With the right information about your medications, your pharmacist can:
- Supply you with over the counter medications that do not interact negatively with medications you are already on.
- Help track your prescriptions so that you do not run out of chronic medications.
- Give you the right advice if you are concerned about a side effect of a medication or about combining medications.
- Guide you accurately when suggesting alternative medications or generics.
- Supply you with any information you or your caregiver, a doctor or hospital needs about managing different medications, or giving you a complete list of your prescriptions for tracking your medications.
Too Many to Track? Consider Pharmacogenetic Testing
If you are having trouble with medication management, side effects from medications or are concerned you are on too many medications, it may be a good idea to consider pharmacogenetic testing. This is a test called a PGx test that your regular doctor can perform, where a laboratory will examine how your body metabolizes and uses specific medication. This will help show what drugs work best in your body, what drugs should be avoided, and can help inform dosages too.
Expert Medication Management and Home Help from NJ Senior Home Health Care Services
Need a helping hand around the house? Our talented team of home health aides in New Jersey are ready to assist! Fully trained and experienced in everything from meal preparation and companionship to medication management, respite care and 24 hour skilled nursing care, we provide safe, affordable at home care for elderly people that you can rely on. Contact us today to find out more.