Lifestyle Medicine for Prevention and Wellness – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Lifestyle medicine — are you familiar with it?

Is this something new? Is it something helpful for older adults and therefore should family caregivers encourage this intervention?

According to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, “Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based approach to preventing, treating and even reversing diseases by replacing unhealthy behaviors with positive ones — such as eating healthfully, being physically active, managing stress, avoiding risky substance abuse, adequate sleep and having a strong support system.”

The goal of lifestyle medicine is to put the person in the driver’s seat to control their own health by addressing the cause of disease instead of just the symptoms.

Avoiding the side effects of chronic disease treatment by preventing the disease in the first place is what lifestyle medicine tries to achieve. Lifestyle medicine can begin healing the body toward health.

Prevention is key.

Prevention Leads to Wellness

Most would agree that prevention is the better option than diagnosis and treatment. Researchers have found that changing our lifestyle by smoking cessation, healthy eating, and becoming physically active could prevent 80% of chronic disease.

Lifestyle medicine, when properly used, is said to to improve purposefulness, increase energy, and give you a positive outlook on life, according to physician’s who prescribe these interventions.

Lifestyle medicine interventions can impact:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Cognitive function
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain
  • Weight management
  • Telomeres

Recommendations from major scientific bodies, including the American Cancer Society, the Diabetes Prevention Program, the American Heart Association, and the national Cholesterol Education Program, focus on lifestyle improvements as a means for prevention.

Foundation of Lifestyle Medicine – Tips for Change

There are six key areas for improvements in our lifestyles that will improve our health at any age.

These are the areas caregivers and their senior loved ones should implement change for their health.

  1. Nutrition – eat a balance at each meal including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. Meet the bodies’ need for nutrients by including a variety of foods, especially those the nutrients of concern, because they are often eaten in inadequate amounts such as fiber, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamins A,D, E, and C
  2. Physical Activity – move it or lose it, 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, choose something you enjoy so you will keep doing it
  3. Sleep – repair and heal our bodies during sleep which needs adequate time and sleep quality
  4. Tobacco Cessation – large cause of death, time to stop
  5. Stress Management – managing and recovering from stress
  6. Healthy Relationships/Socialization – connections impact our health

Experts now agree that genetics are not as important as a healthy lifestyle when improving our health.

Lifestyle medicine is simply lifestyle as medicine. It should be the first line of treatment where you work with healthcare professionals who help you make changes.

Continuing an unhealthy lifestyle will rob you of the life in your (and your senior loved one’s) years!

 




Wireless Printing for Seniors’ Homes — Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Our digital devices are great for looking at pictures, reading emails, reviewing documents, and so much more. There are times, though, when we really want to put things on paper.

As we have experienced and been told, that is the case for many older adults, who grew up viewing photos on paper and receiving documents in person, by fax, or vial (snail) mail.

In addition, I have to admit sometimes viewing some documents and family photos on even the biggest smartphone screen just isn’t enough.

As one who has explained to others how to email pictures or documents or save them on a cloud drive to be opened and printed from a laptop or desktop connected to a printer, I know it can be a pain. I didn’t like doing it myself. Printing from a usb drive — don’t even go there!

Worse than just a pain, though, it could be enough to convince an already-hesitant senior loved one their smartphone is more trouble than it is worth and belongs in a drawer. Along with the smartphone in the drawer, then, will be all the current and future benefits mobile technology offers to help make aging in place successful.

Fortunately, there is a solution . . . wireless printing. It’s one of those technologies that, once we got it, we wondered how we did without it due to the convenience it offered.

Wireless Home Printing

Wireless printing uses a specially-equipped printer connected to the home’s WiFi. Connected rather easily, in most cases anyway, I might add.

Note that ‘wireless’ does not mean no wires at all, as the printer will still be powered from a standard electric outlet.

Your senior loved one has WiFi in their home, don’t they? While mobile devices will connect to web without it (if the signal is strong enough), many of the innovations that will help seniors age in place successfully — and longer — connect to the web via WiFi. We discuss that in a number of other articles, such as this one on technology adoption.

Assuming WiFi is in place, wireless printing is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Purchase a wireless printer. There are a lot of models available (a search for ‘wireless printer‘ on Amazon produces over 1,000 results) so think about the options of value to your senior — such as scanning, two-sided printing, or multiple paper sizes — and check out some reviews. At the bottom of the article you will find some Amazon best sellers.
  2. Unbox the printer and set it up. Taking off all the plastic protecting the printer may be the most time consuming part of unboxing. After that, many printers simply require putting paper in the tray, plugging it in, and connecting it to WiFi.
  3. Select ‘Print’ on your smartphone or tablet (as long as they are connected to the same WiFi network) in the app with the picture, email, or document you want to print. Newer versions of iOS and Android operating systems have the wireless printing function built in, so any wireless printer on the same WiFi connection as the device will come up as an option.

Wireless printing also works with laptop and desktop computers too, though the printer setup is typically more complicated (though not more so than for a printer connected to the computer).

Roles for Family Caregivers

While we have found many seniors can handle the setup themselves, some seniors (and future seniors) will benefit from a helping hand. Side benefit: this is another thing you can do together!

Note that, like other devices, printers may drop the WiFi connection from time to time, so it might be helpful to take reconnection instructions to the printer, particularly if you are a long distance family caregiver.

If you’re like us and simply stumped about what to get senior loved ones for Christmas or their birthday, a wireless printer (and your time to set it up with them) just might be a gift for which they will thank you again and again!

Amazon Best Sellers in Wireless Printers

[amazon bestseller=”wireless printer” items=”5″ grid=”5″]

When Our Senior Loved One Says NO – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Appointment time for the doctor or hair dresser is fast approaching but your senior loved one is refusing to get out of their pajamas.

You need to go grocery shopping but can’t leave them home alone and they won’t get in the car.

It is time for a much needed shower but they won’t enter the bathroom, no matter how many times they are asked.

These scenarios and many more are encountered all too frequently by family caregivers.

In fact, research has shown that 77% of adult children think their parents are stubborn.

Unfortunately, their stubborn refusals impact the well-being of family caregivers. Anger and frustration at their behavior can quickly turn into resentment, which could change the way you care for them.

What is a frazzled family caregiver to do?

Strategies To Use When They Say NO

Finding coping strategies to help you deal with your senior loved one when they get stubborn and refuse, not only your advice about handling a caregiving situation, but refusal of care that you know is necessary, is important to their safety and your mental health.

Here are a few ideas to help you cope and perhaps even cajole them into doing what you think is important from A Place for Mom.

  1. Accept the situation. This is very difficult, but the reality is that your senior is an adult and should be able to make their own decisions when they have the information they need even when you don’t agree with them. The caveat here is if they are putting themselves in an unsafe situation. Sometimes you have to intervene.
  2. Decide how important the choice is. This is when you have to step back and decide if their decision is safe or if it will put them at risk. One example is them refusing to take all their medications. Are some medications essential and need to be given somehow or are there some like vitamins that they can live without? Would a liquid be easier for them or a patch that slowly delivers medication through their skin without the need to swallow — what are the options for medication administration without arguments? In other words, pick your battles and find workarounds.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes things are truly out of your control and all you can do is sit back and hope for the best, but be ready to take over when needed.
  4. Find an outside outlet for your feelings. Having a friend or family member with whom you can unleash your feelings, talk it out, and vent your emotions will help you maintain your calm, caring attitude toward your senior loved one and help you keep your sanity. Perhaps an online chat or Facebook group who are experiencing what you are can give you support.
  5. Try to understand the motivation behind their behavior. Try to determine the root cause of their behavior. Are they trying to make you upset or worry, is this response a way to hide their inability to do what is asked, is the behavior a habit, do they understand what is being asked or are they confused, are they depressed and acting out, or are they trying to be independent and make their own decisions (good or bad)? Understanding the why of it might help you create a plan of action for the how of it to help you overcome the behavior.

Every day is different when caring for older adults. Some days will be good and others will be a struggle.

Being a family caregiver is an important role that many of us are called upon to fulfill.

Staying healthy physically and mentally as a family caregiver should not be overlooked or pushed to the bottom of the list. Therefore, finding ways to cope with your daily challenges will help them and you!

Additional Resources

Here are a few more resources that will help you handle challenging behaviors.

 




9 Wheelchair Tips for Seniors’ Safety — Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Family caregivers are responsible for many things requiring skills that they may never have had to use before and may be wondering what is the best way to accomplish certain tasks.

Caring for a wheelchair may be one of those things.

Often we are learning about wheelchairs at the same time as our senior loved one, so they are unable to direct us based on their experience.

That does not, of course, reduce our desire to care for them and their well-being as we care for their wheelchairs.

Tips for Safe Wheelchair Use

It isn’t enough just to push your senior loved one here and there, out in the community, or just inside the house from room to room.

Caregivers want to be sure that the wheelchair their senior loved ones use is safe and in good working condition.

There are many ways for wheelchairs to wear out or be used in such a way that harm could occur. In fact, in 2016, almost 18% of all wheelchair users were injured in a wheelchair-related accident and 44-57% reported a wheelchair breakdown. Worse yet, 20-30% of those with a breakdown were stranded at or away from home.

Here are a few tips for wheelchair safety:

  1. Check the wheels regularly – ensure the wheels aren’t loose or have flat tires, which may impact its braking ability. Don’t forget the spokes, as broken spokes can keep the chair from moving freely. In addition, keep the spokes clear of obstructions, such as lap blankets.
  2. Keep the wheels well-oiled for proper functioning.
  3. Check the brakes often to be sure they still lock tightly to prevent accidents. Always lock brakes before transferring your senior in and out of chair!
  4. Don’t overload the chair with heavy bags, especially on the back, which could cause it to tip over.
  5. If the wheelchair is battery powered, inspect the system for safety and keep it out of the rain. Check the speed and reprogram it to a lower rate for safety if needed.
  6. Don’t allow children to play on wheelchairs.
  7. Keep the chair clean, including chair seat, arms, and wheels, to prevent the spread of germs and prolong its life.
  8. Pay close attention to the surface on which your senior is riding to prevent tipping over due to cracks or holes in pavement or any change in grade, including carpeting.
  9. Be aware of people nearby (not to mention small pets) so that they don’t get run over, causing injury to them or the senior in the wheelchair.

You may want to keep the owner’s manual handy in case service or warranty information is required.

Using a wheelchair can be vital to seniors who have difficulty walking or have limited stamina so that they can stay engaged in the community and socialized with those they love.

Keeping the wheelchair in good working order will help you keep them safe and them a part of the action!

Additional Resources

Those tips are a quick snapshot about caring for a wheelchair but here are a few more articles you might find informative.

 

 

5 Geriatric Care Focus Areas — Family Caregiver Quick Tip

As we age, we are at risk for development of a variety of medical problems.

Our senior loved ones may already have multiple medical issues and could be at risk for more.

They want medical care that is thorough and consistent, seeking expert advice to prevent worsening medical issues.

Family caregivers hope that their senior’s medical team is taking the time needed to diagnose and manage disease.

5 Ms Of Geriatric Care

Your senior’s healthcare team members who are trained in geriatric medicine are focused on five areas.

They treat older adults with an individualized approach to meet their needs.

The five focus areas (source HealthinAging.org) are:

MIND

  • Maintaining mental activity
  • Helping manage dementia
  • Helping treat and prevent delirium
  • Working to evaluate and treat

MOBILITY

  • Maintaining the ability to walk and/or maintain balance
  • Preventing falls and other types of common injuries

MEDICATIONS

  • Reducing polypharmacy (the medical term for taking several medications)
  • De-prescribing (the opportunity to stop unnecessary medications)
  • Prescribing treatments exactly for an older person’s needs
  • Helping build awareness of harmful medication effects

MULTICOMPLEXITY

  • Helping older adults manage a variety of health conditions
  • Assessing living conditions when they are impacted by age, health conditions, and social concerns

MATTERS MOST

  • Coordinating advance care planning
  • Helping manage goals of care
  • Making sure that a person’s individual, personally meaningful health outcomes, goals, and care preferences are reflected in treatment plans

Getting Focused Healthcare for Your Senior

Doesn’t that plan look like it would be very beneficial for you and your senior loved one?

In reality, does your current healthcare team practice this type of geriatric care?

We hope everyone who treats a senior would look at them with these 5 areas of focus but likely not as many are trained in this type of care and treatment as we would like.

We know that there is a shortage of geriatricians who specialize in treating older adults. In fact, in 2013 there were estimates that 17,000 more were needed to meet the demands of aging adults.

Family caregivers can:

  1. Ask the healthcare team if they have been trained as geriatric practitioners and if they follow these 5 areas of focus when treating your senior loved one.
  2. Ask to what other members of the team they will refer you such as speech therapists for swallowing difficulties, registered dietitians for eating issues, psychologist for depression, care managers or social workers to help get services, pharmacists for concerns of polypharmacy, elder law attorneys to execute advance directives or end of life options, and others who can help fill gaps in care services. The doctor doesn’t have to do it all, but should be able to connect you with appropriate experts to help you.
  3. Have your questions ready, be prepared ahead of time so you get what you need during a visit without wasting valuable time. Doing a little homework ahead of time through observation and understanding your senior’s needs now and in the near future will help you get the help you need.
  4. Take notes during healthcare visits so you don’t have to back track to get information already provided and so that you can follow-up with all the team’s suggestions. Having notes will make it easier to share the information with other family caregivers or paid caregivers.
  5. Don’t give up! You know your senior loved one best and what would be best for them. Continue to seek the answers you need. Get information from other caregivers through support groups as well as learning all you can about whatever issues your senior has such as dementia or other disease processes.

As family caregivers, we want our senior loved ones to get the person-centered care they need from their healthcare team. With these actions, we can do our part to help them get that care.

 




 

Local Hands-On Technology Resources — Family Caregiver Quick Tip

As family caregivers, we may feel strongly certain technology is just what our senior loved ones need to make their homes safer or healthier places for them to live — or maybe simply more enjoyable — but realize that will happen only if the technology is used.

How often do we give our loved ones yet another gift like a sweater or coffee mug only to have it set aside in a drawer, we suspect, only to have it pulled out when we visit?

We don’t want the same to happen when we give them a technology gift that could make a real difference in their lives. How do we avoid that?

Of course, it may not be a gift, since family caregivers are often the purchasers of technology for their senior loved ones.

If only there was a way we could introduce seniors to technology and let them spend a little hands-on time before a purchase decision was made. Trying before buying can give us confidence what we buy will provide benefits.

Sure, we can do that in some retail stores, but being surrounded by shoppers and “helpful” sales reps is not the best environment for testing.

That’s why we were thrilled to learn about local senior technology centers, which are in many communities, and invited to tour the Cobb County Assistive Technology Lab in Marietta, Georgia.

Assistive Technology Lab

We met Felicia Alingu, Outcomes Program Specialist with Cobb Senior Services, at Aging in America and were very impressed to hear about their Assistive Technology Lab (AT Lab). When she invited us to tour the facility, we jumped at the chance.

The Cobb AT Lab has several rooms, each with tech devices designed for a specific area of the house, including the family room, kitchen, and bathroom. We captured some if it in the pictures below.

 

In the AT Lab, seniors and caregivers can browse the different devices and learn how they work. They have created a nice atmosphere to experience how the tech works and how it might fit into the visitors’ homes — a great opportunity to try before you buy!

Not only were we impressed by the lab itself, but also learning from Felicia of the outreach, classes, and other activities available to seniors. While we are discussing the Assistive Technology Lab as an example of facilities around the nation, we plan to interview Felicia about their work for an upcoming edition of the Senior Care Corner® podcast.

Is There Something Similar Near Your Senior?

Yes, we realize most of you reading this don’t live in Cobb County, Georgia. With a little research, though, we found similar opportunities in communities across the US. Check with local senior agencies to learn if there is one nearby your senior and check it out yourself.

While you are in touch with a local senior organization, you might want to find out what other programs and benefits are available to your senior loved one. You just might find something they could use or an activity they would enjoy but is completely unknown to them.

Supporting Local Tech Demo Facilities

After seeing what the Cobb AT Lab is doing and what it can mean to seniors and family caregivers, we want make a pitch to those in a position to support them. Given the limited funding available to most community organizations and the cost of assistive and smart home technology, keeping facilities like the AT Lab up to date and relevant for seniors is difficult.

If you are with a tech company or retailer, we hope you see this as the opportunity it is to familiarize a new market segment with technology and what it can mean to their lives. Supporting the mission of these facilities with donations of money or products can — in addition to making a positive difference in communities — provide benefits through the education of a new group of consumers.

Please help them in their mission to help seniors and family caregivers!

 




 

Boosting Memory for Seniors & Caregivers – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

We have all walked up to someone familiar and been unable to remember their name.

We have walked into the other room for something and could not recall what it was we wanted once we got there.

Who hasn’t misplaced their car keys and taken so long to find them, we were late for an appointment?

These are not uncommon situations and are not cause for concern for most people.

However, that doesn’t keep family caregivers from worrying about their senior loved ones — or themselves — whenever these ‘memory lapses’ occur.

Is it Alzheimer’s disease?

Probably not, because dementia is not a normal part of aging, but these occasional memory lapses are.

Our brains do change over time, blood flow to our brains diminishes, and some forgetfulness is expected.

However, researchers believe that our brains are capable of regrowing cells and learning new things.

That doesn’t stop us from fearing losing our memory. But it is important to know that there are things we can do at any age or stage in life to help preserve our memory and strengthen our brain.

Strategies for Boosting Memory

Seniors and their caregivers can do a few simple things to help prevent memory loss so that our brains live as long as our bodies.

HealthyAging.org offers these strategies to help improve your memory:

  • See your healthcare professional regularly to help manage chronic medical conditions; uncontrolled health conditions inhibit memory.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes three times a week to increase blood flow to the brain.
  • Getting enough sleep to help you concentrate, 7-8 hours a night.
  • Eating a balanced, good diet, especially fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, is essential.
  • Practice stress reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, and prayer.
  • Keep hydrated with 6-8 glasses of water a day and limit alcohol.
  • Avoid multi-tasking, which can decrease recall later; it can overload memory circuits making is harder to process information.

The American Psychological Association offers these ‘memory aides’ to help us all gain confidence in our memory:

  • Keep to-do lists! Put them where you will see them often and mark off items as you complete them.
  • Establish a routine. Follow your routine each day.
  • Don’t rush. Give yourself plenty of time to memorize a name or idea or to recall something known to you.
  • Everything in its place. Keep your possessions in their place, put things where you will use them such as hanging your keys near the door.
  • Keep a calendar. Whether it is electronic or on paper, record important dates and other information, including reminders, and check it frequently.

If Concerned, See Your Healthcare Provider

Memory lapses don’t affect your daily activities as dementia would. They are frustrating and inconvenient for sure.

However, when forgetfulness leads to difficulty completing everyday tasks like driving, handling money, operating household items like a stove or washing machine, or remembering the names of your loves ones, it is time to seek help from your healthcare provider because these memory aides or prevention strategies won’t bring back your abilities to carry out daily living activities.

Preparing yourself everyday to keep your brain strong, will allow you and your senior to face the future armed for success.

 




What’s Next After Aging in Place and How to Transition – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Yes, our senior loved ones – like us — want to live at home as they age.

Sometimes that home may be a new location or the home in which they have lived most of their adult lives.

Comfort with our belongings, familiarity with the community, closeness of family or friends, access to trusted healthcare providers, or an aversion to change are some of the many reasons seniors and family caregivers prefer to stay ‘at home.’

The reality for some older adults is that home, or at least their preferred home, may not be the best choice as their aging needs change. Their independence may be threatened by health, mobility, cognition, finances, or lack of caregiving support.

In fact, about two-thirds of people over 65 need some type of long term care health services as they age.

What comes next?

How can family caregivers help their senior loved ones transition to the next chapter in their lives?

When Independence Is No Longer Possible

No one wants to leave their home, but sometimes the safety and well-being of our senior loved ones means this is the best choice for them.

Family caregivers have not failed if a transition becomes necessary but instead are being proactive.

A crisis is not the time to be making decisions of this importance. Planning and preparation can help ease the impact and ensure ours seniors’ wants and needs are met in their new ‘home.’

Here are some considerations if you are facing this transition decision:

  1. The variety of options available to your senior, such as in-home care, senior living community, assisted living center, long term care facility, continuing care retirement community, independent living, memory care center, or adult group home/personal care home can be complex. Each has benefits and drawbacks and may or may not be a good fit for your senior.
  2. What financial arrangements are needed for the option which meets your senior’s needs? Are there funds available to finance their choice? Is there a home that can be sold to help pay for the next place, pension income, personal savings, long term care insurance, or Veterans Aid that can be used to pay? Most of these options are private pay and not funded by Medicare. Each setting has a different pay structure and you may find some are not affordable for your senior unless adequate funds have been set aside for care.
  3. When deciding on the next phase of living, include your senior loved one in the decision-making process as much as possible.
  4. Visit locations, investigate staffing, check the menu and activities calendar, and any other amenities that are important for your senior and the rest of the family. Does the location feel comfortable and welcoming? Is it clean, are the residents well kept, is safety a priority, will transportation be available, who manages medications, can you bring a pet, is a beauty shop on premises, who pays for phone and cable, is broadband available for technology, is smoking allowed (especially if your senior doesn’t want it), and can you have visitors, including overnight guests?
  5. What are their rules? Is there a complaint process? Is there a bill of rights posted? What happens if your senior doesn’t continue to qualify due to decline, what is the process for moving to the next level, is eviction possible?

You can compare different facilities in your area using www.medicare.gov and select the type and quality of the facility you desire. This could help narrow down the list before you make your visits.

The National Center for Assisted Living has a Checklist for Consumers and Prospective Residents that is very detailed. It can help family caregivers determine which questions to ask in any facility type you are considering and how to evaluate the options.

Planning ahead to leave a beloved home when independence is no longer possible and reacting before a crisis occurs will help make an often difficult and stressful transition smoother for seniors and their family caregivers.

 




Managing Seniors’ Medication – Family Caregiver Quick Tip

Having to take many pills each day, sometimes several times a day, can make it very difficult to do it correctly.

When seniors don’t get it right, the outcome can be deadly.

It has been estimated that 60% of seniors take their medications incorrectly. This results in almost 140,000 deaths a year. For others, making mistakes taking their pills can impact the effectiveness of their medications.

Common Medication Mistakes

Statistics show that nearly 70% of seniors have at least one medication, 50% take at least two medications, and 25% take five or more medications (that number jumps to 46% if your senior is over 70).

These numbers are just the prescribed medications and don’t include a multitude of over-the-counter aids or supplements many seniors use daily. It isn’t uncommon for some seniors to be taking more than 20 drugs a day.

We shouldn’t be surprised that seniors use more pills and potions of all kinds than any other age group.

That is a lot of pills to remember to take correctly. Here are some common examples of what can go wrong.

  • Skipped doses – 1 in 4 seniors skip a dose
  • Failure to fill a prescription
  • Taking drugs at the wrong time or wrong dose such as forgetting to cut in half
  • Eating a food or beverage that will interact with a medication
  • Not monitoring vital signs when needed before dosing like blood pressure or sugar
  • Mixing up similar medications taking them at the wrong time or in the wrong amount
  • Not informing all doctors or health professionals about what you are taking which may result in double dosing or interactions
  • Stopping a drug because they think it isn’t working
  • Not paying attention to side effects that could be creating medical problems.

It is very important that seniors and family caregivers recognize any adverse reactions when taking medications. Adverse reactions due to medication administration errors or new drugs can be very serious, including falls, depression, confusion, hallucinations and malnutrition.

In addition, memory loss and vision impairment caused by mismanagement of prescriptions can lead to more problems including continued medication errors.

Tips for Family Caregivers

With these tips, family caregivers can help senior loved ones manage their medications.

  1. Listen to the instructions from your senior’s doctor or pharmacist. If you have any questions at all, ask until you and your senior fully understand. Read the drug facts label and package inserts to learn more about your senior’s drugs.
  2. Bring all medications to the doctor once a year so that the medical professional can review each one to ensure they are still appropriate and no interactions exist.
  3. Keep a current medication list, including full name of the medication, dosage, and time so that it can be used at each medical visit and emergency healthcare situation.
  4. Talk to the pharmacist. This professional can check for potential interactions, put pills in easy to use and read containers, and give you any information you need to learn more about your senior’s drugs including the over-the-counter pills. Using one pharmacy will help keep your records clear and avoid interactions.
  5. Set up pill boxes for your senior. It can be weekly pill boxes that are found in all drug stores or monthly like the Pillrite. This product includes a medication list and emergency information. (We were able to test the Pillrite and our senior tester loved the ease of filling, med list info, unique way the week pillbox opened for filling and the way AM and PM were separated.) Pillrite also has an informative video if you would like to learn more about this effective product. In addition to these pill boxes, there are also smartphone apps linking to their pillbox that caregivers may like that gives remote alerts when pills are not taken as they should.
  6. Be sure medications are stored properly especially if it should be refrigerated. Also read the label instructions to be sure it is taken properly – with food, not with milk, after a meal, with full glass of water, etc.

Medications can be life saving for our senior loved ones and contribute to the highest quality of life.

Proper administration of medications will help them attain their goal of healthy and independent aging.