Caregivers Guide to Medications and Ageing

Whether your caregiver is a family member or a close friend of if you’ve hired the help of an independent care giver such as Kentish Home Care to help you at home, they will all need to know how to correctly deal with your prescribed medication.

Different types of medication and understanding the prescription

Not all medications are the same therefore first your care giver will need to know the difference between each type. Prescription medications are ordered by a doctor and will be either “brand name” or “generic”. Over the counter medications are sold without a prescription and can include things such as painkillers and laxatives. The last type is Herbal medications which can also be bought in stores and can include things such as vitamins and dietary supplements. All of these can come in different forms whether a pill, liquid, inhalers and ointments. You should always check with a nurse or a doctor to make sure that the prescription is correct and how often the medication needs to be taken. Another thing you should be wary of is the potential side effects of each different type of medication. This is often listed on an information sheet that will come in every packet but if in doubt you can ask a professional.

Medication reconciliation

This refers to the way in which you check that all of the over the counter medication or prescriptions that are being used are correct. If there are a lot of prescriptions, this can sometimes be difficult but through a certain level of organisation you should be able to keep on track. Make an up to date list to make sure that none of the required medication is missing. This can happen a lot when people move from one place to another or have another diagnosis. It’s best to put this list where you know you can quickly find it in case of an emergency and bring this medication list with you every time your patient needs to visit a doctor, hospital or nursing home.

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