Medication and Aging - 6 Challenges to Overcome Medication Errors
are many challenges we face with aging and taking medications. These
obstacles can be overcome by caregivers.
Impaired vision can cause difficulty reading the labels on
medications. Ask the pharmacist to provide labels in large print. For
over the counter medications, caregivers can make large print labels
to place on those bottles. Using a magnifying glass for reading may
also be helpful.
difficulties can affect the information your aging loved one hears and
interprets what is being said. It is important that you have the
doctors and other healthcare professionals to speak louder or write
things instructions down. Caregivers may also assist their aging loved
one by going with them and taking notes
age, some may experience difficulties with swallowing some pills and
capsules. When a doctor prescribes a medication, ask if it comes in an
alternative form. If it does not, ask if it can be crushed. Many
medications cannot be crushed, so the doctor may have to order an
Everyone has lapses in memory. For the aging, which are more likely to
be forgetful, forgetting a medication can have serious consequences.
It is important that a medication system be put into place. Medication
systems can range from simple low tech pill boxes to high tech
containers that alert your aging loved one that it is time for a dose
and has a system in place to alert the caregiver if a dose has been
Challenges with Safe Medication and How Caregivers Can Overcome
age the ability to open bottles, the difficulty of breaking a pill or
giving eye drops to ourselves can become a challenge. Ask the
pharmacist to provide easy to open bottle tops for your prescription
medications. If a medication is to be cut in half, ask the pharmacist
to do that for you when they are filling the prescription. There are
easy to use inexpensive pill cutters available. Your pharmacist can
recommend one that will suit your needs.
greatest challenge with aging and safe medication is the scheduling of
the medications themselves. Caregivers can overcome this obstacle in
several ways. The medication systems as discussed above can help. It
is important to plan for medications around your aging adult's daily
schedule. Plan a schedule to take medications around meal times or
bedtime. These activities can be cues that it is time to take
medications. Your doctor or your pharmacist can assist with developing
a plan to best suit your need.
are the six most common challenges that caregivers face when dealing
with your aging loved one and medications. Being proactive and
developing ongoing assessment of the medication system will increase
the assurance of safe medication for the elderly.
Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing
field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely
qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own
homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at
any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has
developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You
will find a mountain of helpful information that will be continually
updated. Please visit
to learn more about safe medicine and the elderly. While you are there
sign up for Aging Home Health Care Newsletter and receive a
complimentary copy of the Home Health Care Planning Guide.
Webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed
Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate
Senior Care Psychological Consulting 2451 Executive Dr. Ste.
103 St. Charles, Missouri 63303 (636) 300-9922