Your dad is on important medications for some health reason. He may have high blood pressure or had a stroke and is on blood thinners. No matter what he is taking, it’s important that he takes them as recommended. Some seniors stop taking them due to the side effects or the monthly cost. Here are five ways to make sure your dad is taking his medications.
Explain the Importance
Go over the medication’s purpose with your dad. Explain why the medication is needed. Talk about how you would feel if you knew a medication could help him, but he refused the help. Ask if he’d want you to skip an important medication.
Discuss the Side Effects
Cover the possible side effects so that there are no surprises that keep him from taking the pills in the future. Discuss ways you can help him with any troublesome side effects. Sometimes, taking medications before going to bed works best for medications that cause dizziness. Pills that cause nausea may be best taken on an empty stomach if possible.
If side effects continue to be problematic, talk to his doctor. There may be other medications he can try.
See if There’s an Issue With Taste
Some pills have a bitter taste that makes them unpleasant. If that’s the case, you can often counter the taste by taking the pills with a fruity drink. If that doesn’t work and it’s not contraindicated, have a meal or snack ready that he can eat immediately after taking his prescription medication.
See if Cost is Keeping Him From Taking His Pills
Some seniors don’t keep taking their medications if the cost is high. Ask if your dad is skipping a refill due to the high cost. If he is, there are things that can help.
Talk to your dad’s doctor. There may be a generic medication that works the same and costs less. Contact the pharmaceutical company to see if there are rebates or coupons that can help lower the cost.
Have a Caregiver Help With Medication Reminders
Is your dad forgetting to take his medications? He may simply need someone to remind him that it’s that time again.
Caregivers can remind your dad when it’s time to take his medications. They also provide other vital elder care services like companionship, meal preparation, and transportation. If he can’t drive because of medication side effects, a caregiver can get him to the pharmacy, a friend’s houses, and medical offices. Call an elder care agency to find out more about medication reminders and other helpful services.