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5 Questions Your Elderly Loved One Should Ask the Pharmacist

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

As seniors grow older, taking medications can become a bit more complicated than it was in previous years. For this reason, it is important for them to gain as much knowledge as possible when filling or refilling prescriptions. The pharmacist can answer any questions your elderly loved one might have to ensure the medication works effectively and your loved one remains safe and healthy while taking it. Folsom, Granite Bay, and Placer County, CA, elderly home care experts recommend asking the following 5 questions.

1. How Does This Medication Interact with Other Medications?

Many seniors take more than one type of medication for any number of conditions, ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes. Your loved one should let the pharmacist know what medications he or she is already taking, including herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications. The pharmacist can tell your loved one if taking the new medication might interfere with any of the old medications, preventing them from doing what they are supposed to or even putting your loved one’s life at risk. 

2. What Are the Side Effects of This Medication?

Few medications do not have the potential to cause side effects. Sometimes these side effects are severe, but most of the time they are fairly minor like drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness. However, even minor side effects can quickly become more serious for seniors. For example, if your loved one has difficulty walking and becomes dizzy, it could lead to a fall. This is why it is important to be aware of all of the side effects of each medication and what to do if your loved one experiences them. 

3. How Many Refills Are Available?

Doctors can prescribe medicine for your loved one to take for a few weeks or something he or she will take for a year or longer. It is always important to find out where your loved one’s medications fall on the timeline. When your loved one gets down to one refill on a medication that he or she needs to continue taking, it is time to make another appointment with the doctor. 

4. When Should This Medication Be Taken?

Some medications work best at night, some need to be taken with a meal, and some should be taken within a few hours of each other. Always make sure your loved one leaves the pharmacy with a complete understanding of when and how to take the medication. If your loved one needs reminders to take his or her medications, consider hiring a Placer County, CA, hourly caregiver to help.

5. Does This Medication Make It Difficult to Perform Normal Activities?

Because of potential side effects, some medications may prevent your loved one from doing normal everyday activities like driving. Some interact with certain foods, which might prevent your loved one from eating these foods while taking the medication. Your loved one should always ask the pharmacist if there are any activities to avoid.

If your loved one needs help managing his or her medications and overall health, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of respite and live-in care Placer County, CA, families trust, and our caregivers are trained to provide assistance with many daily tasks, including medication reminders and transportation to the doctor’s office. Call 916.226.3737 today to learn more.

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