Have you ever had to take an elderly relative in for a doctor’s appointment, only to find that they have problems remembering all the different medications they take? This problem is more common than you think.
Known to those in the health care field as “medication reconciliation,” this is the process in which nurses or doctors take down the full list of drugs the patient is taking. It’s important, because some medications don’t interact well and can lead to sometimes fatal results.
There are several times when medication reconciliation may be a problem for an elderly relative, such as:
- When they become dazed or confused.
This is especially a danger if your loved one lives with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. They may not remember which drugs they take, what the dosage is, or even if they took them at all that day. Because elderly individuals often take a higher amount of drugs, they may not remember all of them, even if they don’t have a memory-related illness.
- When they have multiple health care providers.
This can happen if your loved one uses different doctors in different networks for different ailments. While one clinic can certainly call up another to find out what their medication is, they usually rely on the patient to tell them—and if your loved one forgets, this can be a problem!
Another way this happens is if your loved one has to the emergency room in the middle of the night, and the staff isn’t able to call their physician or pharmacy to find out what medication they take.
- When they don’t take them properly.
Some patients find that they dislike the side effects of their medication, and stop taking them completely. Other times, they end up abusing the drug and taking too much of it. Either scenario can seriously impact their health, especially when a doctor is deciding whether or not to prescribe them something new.
Williams Bros. Health Care Pharmacy encourages you to be proactive when it comes to looking out for your elderly relatives’ health. Make sure you have a running list of all the medications they’re taking before an emergency arises. Remind them to take their medication as prescribed.
If you’re worried about how certain prescriptions are interacting, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Our pharmacy staff can help you ascertain if one medication you take may interact adversely with another.