It is a fact of life that when you are caring for elderly people, you will have very many pills and potions to administer every day to treat or control illnesses. When an elderly person gets to the stage where he or she can no longer take care of his or her affairs, it is obviously that he or she won't be able to manage routines like taking medication.
Large quantities of drugs
Establish which drugs should be taken when is your first task. The old person in your care has been given the medication for a good reason and it is essential that they are administered at the right times of the day.
Sort through the medications
The are a number of steps you can take to help elderly people take their drugs. Your first task should be to sort through all of the medications, make sure you understand what they are for and make sure that you understand the correct dosages. You also need to make sure the prescriptions are up to date.
Consult with the doctor
If you are at all concerned about what should be taken when, a brief consultation with the doctor who has been dealing with the person you are looking after is the only way to find out. Remember however, that they are not allowed to tell you about another individual's medical history unless they receive the express consent of the individual in question. The solution to this is to take the elderly person in your care with you when you visit the doctor. The doctor will be able to provide you with all the information you need, and also register your role as primary carer of the person in question.
Once you have all the information you need on the medication that the elderly person in your care is taking, you can get organised. The first step, and perhaps the most important step is to establish a routine so that no medication dose gets forgotten about. The routine will also help the elderly person understand that you are responsible for their care. Getting old can be a bewildering time, and he or she will be reassured by the fact that they no longer have the responsibility for something that has gone beyond their ability. Knowing that there are specific times for certain medications will make them feel a lot better. Routines are also good from your point of view - you will have many things to think about and structure and routine in a day helps you keep on top of things.
Tools to assist taking medication
There are all kinds of tools available to ensure that drugs are taken in the correct doses at the correct times. Checklist are a good idea. You can create a checklist for you to fill in every day just after the medication has been taken. The checklist will provide you with reassurance that the correct dose has been taken at the correct time. It will also help you to keep track of the supply of each drug that you have and when the prescription needs renewing.
Daily doses boxes are small trays that are divided into compartments. The compartments are labeled with the day of the week. Each compartment contains the pills that need to be taken on that day. They are particularly useful if the person in your care only needs to take one or two pills a day. You can fill them at the start of every month.
Taking medication at the right time
Taking a pill at the wrong time or in the wrong dose can have a very detrimental affect on the elderly person's health. By creating an organised system, you can avoid mishaps.
Electronic tracking systems
There are also electronic tracking systems available that send alerts to you via email if an elderly person in your care has forgotten to take their medication, or if their life sign have changed.