Caregivers in Huntersville, NC – Helping Your Elderly Loved One Remember to Take Medications or Do Other Prescribed Treatments
As a caregiver for your elderly parents one of the most important things you will do on a daily basis is help them manage their medical conditions and health concerns. This management not only protects their health and helps prevent new or worsened symptoms, it also encourages them to live more active and enjoyable lives. While you should not be expected to provide medical care for your elderly parents if you do not have the proper training to do so, you can play an important role in keeping them compliant with their medical treatment guidelines and medications.
Medication and treatment compliance are often the greatest challenge to the health and well-being of aging adults. Whether it is because they do not fully understand these guidelines and why they are supposed to follow them, do not like the medications or treatments and therefore try to avoid following through, or are simply stubborn and unwilling to do what they are supposed to do according to their doctors, if your aging parents do not take the medications they are supposed to when they are supposed to, or do not follow other treatment guidelines, they are putting their current and future health at serious risk.
This caregiver task can be quite a challenge, particularly if you are dealing with elderly parents who do cope with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and have trouble understanding what these medications and treatments do. Try some of these strategies to increase your parents’ medication and treatment compliance so they can stay healthier for longer:
• Set a timer. People often respond well to signals, especially when they condition themselves. Just like you condition yourself to wake up and get out of bed when you hear your alarm, you can make taking medication or engaging in some other treatment routine by setting a timer and keeping your parents on a schedule. When the timer goes off, immediately follow through with the dosage or treatment. This way over time they will associate the timer with that treatment and it will just be another thing that they do.
• Make a to-do list. Goal-oriented seniors respond well to lists. They like the structure and predictability of moving from one task to another and making sure everything gets done. Include their medications and treatments on the to-do list and let them cross them off once complete so they get the feeling of satisfaction watching their tasks list dwindle.
• Make it more enjoyable. Many elderly adults do not like to comply with medication and treatment instructions simply because they are unpleasant. Making them more pleasant removes the motivation to resist and encourages them to comply much more willingly. Ask the doctor whether your parents’ medications are available in liquid form. Many pharmacies can add flavorings to liquid medications to give them a pleasant taste such as bubble gum, grape, chocolate, or orange. This flavoring service is available for a wide variety of medications and can make getting your parents to keep up with their dosing schedule must less challenging. Try other techniques for making treatments easier to handle such as giving your mother a foot rub while she tests her blood sugar or putting on a favorite TV show for your father to watch while he does physical therapy.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Huntersville, NC, contact Caring at Heart today. Our staff will answer all of your questions about caring for an aging adult. Serving Charlotte, Statesville, Ballantyne, Mooresville, Huntersville, Matthews, Concord, Gastonia, Pineville and Indian Trail. CALL TODAY (704) 837-4564.