Tips for Discussing Alzheimer’s Medications With Your Dad’s Doctor

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Alzheimer’s medications help slow the progression of symptoms. They can be very expensive, which leads families to wonder if they’re worth the cost. Here are some tips on discussing the pros and cons of these medications with your dad’s doctor.

 

Homecare in Pembroke Pines FL: Alzheimer's Medications

Homecare in Pembroke Pines FL: Alzheimer’s Medications

 

Ask About the Different Medications Used to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

In the mild to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s cholinesterase inhibitors like donepezil, galantamine, and rivastigmine are used to help slow the deterioration of a brain chemical that helps with memory and thinking skills. Common side effects of these are a loss of appetite, insomnia, lethargy, nausea, and muscle pain.

Memantine or a combination of memantine and cholinesterase inhibitors are used in the moderate to severe stages. Side effects of those pills include constipation, dizziness, joint and muscle pain, lethargy, and nausea. Make sure the right medications are being offered.

If your parent shows signs of depression, which is common with a chronic condition like Alzheimer’s, a prescription antidepressant may also be suggested. Additional medications may be necessary if your parent has delusions, anxiety, aggression, or extreme restlessness.

 

Are There Less Expensive Options?

If your mom’s doctor has her taking Namzaric and it’s costing her $450 a month, you may want to talk to the doctor about more affordable options. Be honest and say the cost is too much. There may be generics that can help.

 

Could the Medications Be Making Her Worse?

-While the medications help ease Alzheimer’s symptoms, side effects often lead family members to wonder if it’s worthwhile. If your mom gets dizzy after taking her pill, she’s more likely to fall. If she falls and breaks a hip or hits her head, it could be a problem.

-Your mom’s doctor may have suggestions on how to minimize the side effects. Taking medications at night before going to bed can help prevent a fall. Ask the doctor for other suggestions for avoiding the common side effects.

-As questions arise, be sure to keep a list. Ask your dad’s pharmacist or doctor the next time to you go in for a refill or bring your dad for an appointment. If you find it hard to take him to his appointments, talk to a home care agency.

Home care professionals can drive your dad to stores and appointments. They can help him remember to take medications and cook his meals. Call a home care agency to learn more about the ways caregivers can help someone with Alzheimer’s age at home.

 

If you or a family member are in need of Homecare in Pembroke Pines, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770.

Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.

About the author: Stephen Sternbach
Stephen Sternbach has been the Chairman of the Board of Directors, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Star Multi Care Services since 1987. After the sale of the New York and New Jersey operations of Star Multi Care Services, Sternbach brought the company private where he remains President and CEO of this newly developed $22M home healthcare company. With Sternbach at the helm, Star Multi Care Services employs more than 550 employees, in six offices throughout Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales. 1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002. In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies. Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.