Medication safety is a major issue for seniors and for those receiving Alzheimer’s care, it looms even larger. Memory loss can make medication management nearly impossible, which in turn can lead to serious consequences. These strategies can help all seniors and their families with medication management, especially those who are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
Create a Medication Routine
Working with doctors and pharmacists, you should find out how each individual medication should be taken, and then create a routine for taking the medicines at the appropriate times. For instance, some medications should be taken with food in the morning, and the routine could be to take those pills after breakfast. To maintain the routine and ensure that no doses get skipped or taken twice, use a pill organizer. If you have a loved one that is transitioning to a memory care home, discuss the routine with the staff there so that it can be maintained.
Practice Safe Storage
Leaving medications out and readily available can be dangerous for someone living with dementia, who may not remember if he or she has already taken the pills or may not know how many to take. Keep medications stored in locked cabinets so that only the pills necessary for that day are available. This will reduce the risk of overdoses. Periodically check the supply of medications and discard any expired pills or medicines that your loved one no longer needs.
Consider How the Medicine is Taken
For people with Alzheimer’s disease, swallowing can become difficult. If your loved one is struggling to take his or her medicine, talk to the doctor or pharmacist about using a different form, such as a liquid, or crushing the pills. In some cases, switching medicines can also help.
Medication management is one of the many services we offer at Avalon Memory Care. Choose us when your loved one needs continuous care in the Dallas, Houston and Arlington areas. You can learn more about our assisted living homes by calling (214) 752-7050.