Tips for Effectively Managing Medical Issues for Seniors
Out of all the many responsibilities a family caregiver faces, possibly one of the most difficult is managing medical issues. The National Council on Aging estimates that around ¾ of all seniors are identified as having at least two chronic illnesses, and they are seeing an average of four healthcare specialists.
As your senior parent’s advocate, it’s crucial to know how to communicate effectively with those from the older adult’s medical team, and also to arrive at appointments fully prepared to address any and all issues. The following four questions are a good starting point:
- Are all of these prescription drugs required? With most aging parents taking multiple medications, you will want to keep an in-depth list and examine regularly with the doctor and also the pharmacist, both of whom will be able to make sure there aren’t any duplications prescribed by different specialists, or any contraindications between meds.
- If prescribing something new, what unwanted side effects should we be prepared to see? Weighing the benefits vs. the risks for any new medication is crucial, as there might be situations when difficult side effects outweigh any advantages available. If the physician offers a blanket statement such as, “Most patients do not experience any problems with this medication,” make sure to follow up for more information about those who DO experience problems.
- What’s the most effective way to relieve pain and discomfort? We’re all conscious of the opioid epidemic, along with the chance of addiction as well as other concerns which come with taking prescription pain medications. However, unaddressed discomfort and pain can cause both delayed healing and significant emotional stress, both for a senior loved one experiencing pain along with his or her caregivers.
- If this was your mom, what would you do? Inviting the physician to step into your shoes can be an exceptionally helpful way to gauge the manner in which you might want to proceed. There may, in reality, be less invasive or aggressive methods to managing a problem that you might like to investigate first.
For more advice on ensuring an older adult you love obtains the best possible care, contact the home care professionals at Hired Hands Homecare. We’re here to help through:
- Accompanying a senior loved one to healthcare appointments and procedures and making certain that questions are addressed
- Ensuring medicines are taken just as prescribed
- Proactively watching for any changes in condition, such as medication side effects, and reporting them right away
- Planning and preparing nutritious meals and providing encouragement to stay physically active to enhance health
- And much more
To get started on a better quality of life for a senior you love, simply contact us at (866) 940-4343 to request an in-home consultation to learn more about our home and hospice care in Santa Rosa and the surrounding communities.