In our society, as people get older, they tend to rely on prescription medications more often. People in their 70s may average five or 10 prescription medications whereas somebody in their 30s or 40s might not have any. Along with that increase in prescription medications comes greater responsibility. It is incumbent upon these men and women to keep track of their medications, and take them properly, at the right times, and in the right methods. For somebody who may be older, who might be more confused due to health issues, dementia, or even the side effects of certain medications, that can be a problem. Seeking out professional caregiver services may be needed.
What if you are the caregiver helping out?
You might be a family caregiver supporting your elderly mother. It could also be a father, a grandparent, your spouse, a sibling, or a close friend. Whoever it is, as a caregiver, what are your limitations when it comes to prescription medications?
Many people assume that just because they are related to the individual they can open bottles, and hand over pills, or other medications to that person, but that’s actually not the case. Legally, only somebody certified or licensed to do this may do so.
You can certainly remind your parent that it’s time to take medications. If they have a pill organizer, you can certainly stop by once a week and help them get things in order, have them place the right pills in the right slots, and then offer those reminders that it’s time to check the pill organizer to make sure they took those at the right time.
Beyond that, unless you are a registered nurse or another individual who is licensed to administer medications, you can’t help in this regard.
That’s where caregiver services at an assisted living facility can make a difference.
Elder care is designed to support men and women as they move through their golden years of life. Too many people think assisted living means the end of life is fast approaching. In truth, the opposite is what assisted living offers. It offers people the chance to maximize their quality of life.
At a quality assisted living facility, licensed, trained, and often highly experienced staff members are there to help residents with a litany of challenges. Some residents might struggle with mobility. Others may require memory care support. Others may simply need reminders and assistance to get their prescription medications in order and take them as directed.
When can you talk about this with your aging parent?
When you notice he or she is struggling with daily care, his or her memory, or is facing other challenges that you simply can’t support. You may have a career, children to raise, or other obligations that mean you can’t be there all the time, even if you wanted to.
Yes, there are a number of caregiver options available, but when it comes down to support, consistency, and even providing that loved one with an environment of activity, friendship, and camaraderie, nothing compares to assisted living.
So, if you’re worried about your elderly parent and the medications they need to take, sit down and talk about assisted living as soon as you can.