Helping a loved one manage their medical condition can be difficult, especially when coupled with a full time job, kids to take care of and all of the other demands of our too busy daily lives. Discovering that a loved one has not been taking their medications, or have been taking their medications incorrectly can make the situation even more stressful. When medication regimens are not followed closely the results can be dangerous or even deadly.
If you’re new to the caregiver role, here are some tips and tricks to give you a running start in this new role.
Frame the Conversation
When you begin caring for a loved one, sit down and have a frank conversation about what this relationship might have in store. Understanding your loved one’s limitations and abilities to manage their own condition can help them feel more empowered. A feeling of self sufficiency can go a long way in keeping your loved ones healthy.
Keep all necessary health aides organized and clearly labeled. If your loved one has been prescribed numerous medications, help them stay on track with clearly labeled and differentiated according to the regimen. Add a digital medication management tool to your medicine cabinet to help you stay informed.
Your loved one’s needs and level of independence may change so it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. Honesty and clarity in addressing the condition can help ensure an action plan for any contingency that family members agree upon.
Coordinate with Everyone
Transparency across your loved one’s caregiver community is critical. If there are others responsible for care, make sure to coordinate everything from doctor’s appointments to medication pick ups. Find a way to keep all the necessary information in one spot, preferably in a way that can easily be accessed at any time. Add all doctors appointments, new medications, medical conditions, and preferences. Also, establish an action plan for situations likely to impact access to care, including the primary caregiver being sick, traveling or in any other way not available to perform their essential role, which can significantly impact a person’s health and care access.
Watch out for Contraindications
If you are a caregiver for someone with multiple chronic medications, you may find yourself visiting multiple specialty physicians who prescribe new treatments or medications. These doctors may not be communicating with the primary care physician, so it’s important to keep track of all prescribed medications and check for contraindications with current medications any time new ones are prescribed. Lucky for you, Medisafe has a built in contraindication feature which makes it easy to check if a new medication may conflict with previously prescribed medications.