Caring for an older adult can be challenging where health care is concerned. If you are a family member caring for an aging relative, it’s easy to become overwhelmed not know where to start, or lose track of priorities. Knowing the facts about medicines and older adults will help you become a better and more informed caregiver.
One method that may help is a team approach. Whenever possible, work together with the person in your care to establish healthcare goals and develop plans to accomplish them. A key strategy should include a discussion about how to manage their medicines.
Not sure if the older adult in your life needs support with medicine or other healthcare issues? Ask! The answer may give you insight into whether or not the older adult needs your help. Don’t assume that medicine management is under control.
This short checklist of questions to ask yourself may also help you figure out if the older adult you are caring for needs help from a family member or caregiver to help manage their medicines:
- Is he or she older than 75?
- Does she or he have more than one medical condition?
- Does he or she use more than one medicine?
- Does she or he have any problems seeing, hearing, strength, or getting around the house?
- Does she or he have memory problems?
- Is this person no longer able to drive himself/herself or walk safely to a location where medicines are available?
If you’ve answered “yes,” to any of these questions the older adult in your life likely needs some support from another person such as a family member or caregiver.