The in-home care Perth seniors benefit from often involves management of multiple medications. Though many seniors take their medications without any issues, family caregivers should still be aware of the potential for substance abuse. For instance, according to a report in Prevention Tactics, 12-15 percent of seniors who seek medical attention develop an addiction to their prescription. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help prevent your loved one from abusing his or her medications.
Speak with a Doctor About Your Loved One’s Prescriptions
Many addictions can be prevented by speaking with a doctor about the medication your loved one is taking. Certain forms of medication, such as opiates, can have nearly identical active ingredients, which can increase your loved one’s risk of becoming addicted. By talking to the doctor about all of your loved one’s prescriptions, there will be a smaller risk of addiction and unwanted side effects resulting from interactions.
Encourage Your Loved One to Avoid Alcohol
For most seniors, the occasional drink will not have much of an impact on their health. If your loved one does drink, then you should speak with his or her doctor about any possible side effects when combining the alcohol with medication. Alcohol is a sedative that can amplify the effects of your loved one’s medicine, and combining the two over a long period of time can increase his or her risk of an addiction.
Never Increase Your Loved One’s Doses without a Doctor’s Approval
If your loved one has asked about increasing a dose or you have noticed him or her doing so independently, he or she might already have an addiction. Taking more medication than prescribed is one of the most common signs a senior has developed a tolerance. A doctor must approve any changes to your loved one’s prescription.
Make Sure Your Loved One’s Medication Is Taken as Intended
There are methods an individual can use to magnify the effects of medication. Some seniors partially dissolve their medication in water or crush it up so it gets into their bloodstream quickly. Much like increasing a dose, these behaviours would be clear signs your loved one has built up a tolerance to his or her prescription.
Tell Your Loved One’s Doctor Immediately About Any Contraindications
A contraindication is a situation where it would be inadvisable for someone to continue taking a medication. For example, taking two different prescriptions that interact with each other in an unusual and potentially dangerous manner. Seniors who have an addiction will often look for ways they can mix their medications to produce new effects. The signs of contraindication can include dizziness, drowsiness, difficulty speaking, and memory problems.
Though medication prescribed by a doctor can help boost your loved one’s health, it’s important to make sure his or her pills are being taken as advised. If your loved one needs assistance with medication management, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can offer timely medication reminders and report to your family if signs of potential abuse are present. We also offer specialised Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care Perth families trust. For more information on our aged care services, call an experienced Care Manager at [hca_phone] to schedule a complimentary consultation.