One daily challenge that many caregivers face is managing their loved one’s medications.
Medication Management falls to the caregiver for a variety of reasons:
- The patient cannot physically open the containers that hold the meds. In these circumstances, the caregiver needs to set out the meds for the patient to take at the appointed time;
- There are more meds than the patient is capable of tracking, or the administering of them requires some help;
- The most common issue is confusion or cognitive impairment, and this usually occurs when the patient is suffering from dementia or a variety of conditions, each of which requires seperate medication.
Medication Management Tools For Caregivers
Here are some choices available to caregivers. Check with your local pharmacy to find them. They may also be available through your local senior center or senior resource office:
- Pill boxes labeled by the day of the week. They do need to be filled accurately at the beginning of the week, but after that, the pills are easy to find and take.
- Blister Packs (also known as Bubble Pack) are a fairly new way of packaging medications for consumers, although elder care communities and hospitals have been using this method for some time. The Packs are prepared by the pharmacy and each pack contains one day worth of pills, or pills to be taken at a certain time, such as breakfast or dinner.
- Some Pill boxes come with alarms for people who need prompting and reminding to take their medications. Some also come with a monitoring service that can alert the caregiver when medications have not been removed from the box.
In addition, there are visiting medication management services which can provide an aide or nurse to visit the patient’s home to assist with medications. Some In-Home Care agencies will offer medication management as part of their services. Check with your local Area Agency on Aging to find out what’s available in your area.