Help with Polypharmacy in Seniors
Montgomery County, MD
Experts refer to polypharmacy as the practice of taking five or more prescription medications a day. It is a condition that primarily affects the elderly. Because this demographic typically manages chronic diseases, the increase in drugs isn’t a surprise. Therefore, it’s essential to assist seniors with their medications. HomeCentris can help with polypharmacy in seniors in Montgomery County.
Understanding the Dangers of Polypharmacy
Polypharmacy in the elderly happens when patients visit a variety of doctors. Because general practitioners commonly refer people to specialists, there are multiple prescribers. Besides that, each doctor makes changes to dosages or accompanying medications. It’s easy for someone to lose track.
Occasionally, there may also be multiple pharmacies that fill the prescriptions. As a result, it’s impossible for one pharmacist to ensure that no adverse interactions happen. Where does this leave the patient? Some take medications to deal with chronic conditions.
Others take medications that counteract side effects from primary drugs. Doctors may specify that patients should take some medicines with or without food. However, some seniors may not remember. Moreover, they might not remember whether to take a drug in the morning or evening.
Home Care Aides Can Help Avoid Potentially Dangerous Problems with Multiple Medications
Giving medication reminders is one of the tasks that home care aides perform. It’s an excellent way of avoiding the danger that polypharmacy creates. In some cases, the caregiver might help loved ones devise a system to keep track of medications. This is of particular importance when addressing polypharmacy in the elderly.
Besides that, it helps to have a caregiver talk to a client about their medications. If it turns out that a senior doesn’t remember why they’re taking a drug, a doctor can clarify it. Caregivers will also observe changes in the client. These could be hints that medications aren’t working well together.
Similarly, a caregiver is there if the client has a hard time opening a pill jar. Not taking medication is another risk of polypharmacy. Something as simple as a switch of the jar type can help put the client back on track. However, a loved one might not think to ask about it.
Other Services Caregivers Offer
Assisting with prescription reminders is only one of the services that non-skilled caregivers might offer. Others include:
- Light housekeeping that assists a senior with dusting, sweeping, mopping, and similar tasks
- Personal shopping, which allows a caregiver to pick up medications, groceries, and other items
- Transitional care that comes into play when a senior returns home from the hospital
- Ancillary services that provide technological intervention to boost safety in the home.
If you worry about an elderly person who decided to age in place, you try to do it all. It’s a nearly impossible task. HomeCentris can help with polypharmacy in seniors in Montgomery County and take on a large chunk of these responsibilities. They free you up to do what you need to accomplish in your own life.
Besides that, they assist your loved one with expertise and compassion. Most importantly, caregivers are an important resource to avoid the dangers of polypharmacy. Find out how HomeCentris Personal Care of Montgomery County does it. Call 240-246-7078 today.