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Should a Senior Ever Avoid Taking a Prescribed Medication?

By Carol White, 9:00 am on December 28, 2015

When providing Prescott elderly care for your senior loved one, it’s important to make sure all of his or her medications are being managed properly. There may be occasions where one or more medications are doing more harm than good and need to be taken out of the equation. If your loved one needs to stop a medication, discuss his or her options with a doctor first, as suddenly stopping a long-term or important prescription can also cause serious side effects.

Can a New Prescription Be Taken Alongside Other Medications?

Many seniors visit a variety of medical professionals, which may result in multiple prescriptions. Always check with your loved one’s primary physician before he or she takes a medication prescribed by another doctor, as the new medication may interact with a prescription he or she is already taking. Calling the doctor or the nurse is often sufficient enough to get the green light for taking a new prescription.

Are Multiple Medications Causing Too Many Side Effects?

The side effects of medications are typically minor if your loved one is only taking one or two prescriptions, but many seniors take several medications each day. In some cases, the cumulative effect of taking multiple prescriptions increases the risk for falls and other accidents. If your loved one’s medications make it difficult to safely perform daily tasks, consider talking to his or her doctor to determine which medications are absolutely necessary to maintain your loved one’s health.

Has Your Loved One’s Quality of Life Decreased Because of Side Effects?

Some medications interfere with the ability to live a fulfilling life. For instance, medications can cause side effects that include fatigue or dizziness, which can make it difficult for your loved one to enjoy normal activities. Discuss the side effects with a doctor if they are affecting your loved one’s quality of life. Often, there are alternative medications available that provide the same benefits, but may have fewer side effects.

Is the Medication Affecting His or Her Mental and Emotional Health?

Some medications, including antidepressants and medications for Alzheimer’s disease, can cause changes in your loved one’s mental or emotional wellbeing. For instance, restlessness, sleeplessness, and anxiety may occur when taking some types of prescription medications. If your loved one becomes depressed, or if other mental or emotional changes occur after he or she starts a medication, talk to your loved one’s doctor about other options.

Medication management can be made much simpler and safer with the help of a professional caregiver. The caregivers at Home Care Assistance can provide reminders for your loved one whenever he or she needs to take a particular prescription. In addition to help with daily tasks, our caregivers are also expertly trained to provide specialized Parkinson’s, post-stroke, and dementia care in Prescott. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 928-771-0105 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.