Assistance in medical care from an in home care provider
As we age, we are likely to experience new or changing physical, mental, and emotional health needs. That’s why it’s so important that seniors have access to medical care. Yet even if seniors get the right care, and the right medicines, it remains up to seniors and their families to make sure that medication and therapies are taken correctly and as scheduled.
Medication is most effective when taken as scheduled because it builds up in the body. It’s important not to skip a dose, and to maintain the correct schedule. Especially for seniors who take more than one prescription medication, doctors may be planning their medication schedule to ensure lower side effects and moderate any drug interactions that could occur. However, many patients struggle to use their medication correctly, and symptoms of illness, general fatigue, changed cognitive and memory functions all impact a senior’s ability to keep to their medication schedule.
Home care services can help make a difference in your aging loved one’s ability to take their medication safely and on time. An in home care provider will become familiar with the medication schedule of your loved one and assist them with taking the medication.
An in home care provider can:
Manage adherence. This is a medical term that means a caregiver can help your aging loved one stick to the right schedule and dosage of their prescriptions. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, “[p]oor adherence to medication regimens accounts for substantial worsening of disease, death, and increased health care costs in the United States.”
Establish good habits. The attention of an in home care provider can give your aging loved one a check on whether or not they’ve taken their medications, and also help find solutions and establish daily habits that can help your loved one take their medications as a routine. Each client is different, and different tips and tricks will help each person; your in home care provider will work with your loved one and your family to determine what will work best for your loved one’s situation.
Address chronic needs. Chronic illnesses can be particularly hard for patients to manage by themselves. An in home care provider can be another pair of hands that helps a patient access their medication, keep to their medication schedule, and address any physical discomforts that may be foremost in a chronically ill person’s mind.
Establish a routine. Because forgetfulness is a major reason why patients report missing their medication, it’s important to build habits that reinforce remembering medication. Caregivers know that a primary way to combat forgetfulness is establishing a routine, so that a certain group of actions can be remembered together every day—like remembering that at the time of day of a favorite television show, it’s time to pour a glass of water and retrieve prescription medications.
Monitor side effects and symptoms. Prescription medications can sometimes cause side effects, and interactions between prescription medications can cause symptoms as well. A caregiver will watch for changing physical condition, record complaints and ailments, and alert family members and care providers to changes in health. It can be hard for patients to advocate for themselves when they are in poor health, and an in home care provider can be an invaluable help.
The reality is that failure to follow through on a doctor’s medication schedule and home care provider’s care plan can have disastrous ramifications for your loved one, including costly hospital readmission. An in home care provider can make a plan to help your aging loved one stick to their medication schedule, and increase the likelihood that your aging loved one will receive their medication correctly and on time.