What Can Family Caregivers Learn from Poison Prevention Awareness Month?
There are so many things that family caregivers have to think about when it comes to taking care of an elderly relative that poison prevention often slips through the cracks. Many family caregivers make the mistake of thinking that their aging loved one doesn’t really need poison prevention, because that type of awareness campaign is geared toward children.
The truth is that millions of seniors suffer with accidental poisoning each year, so family caregivers should spend Poison Prevention Awareness Month learning about all the dangers that could potentially affect their aging relative.
Medication Mismanagement Causes Accidental Poisoning in Seniors
Elderly adults are most likely to accidentally poison themselves from confusion about medication. The majority of seniors have at least one chronic illness that requires medication. Studies show that when aging adults take medication for more than one health issue, the chances of making a mistake increase dramatically. Medication management is even more difficult when there is some cognitive decline. Here are just a few ways that seniors mismanage their medication:
- Skipping a dose due to forgetfulness
- Doubling or tripling a dose
- Mixing prescription meds with over-the-counter meds
- Taking medication with alcohol
- Ingesting expired medication
- Taking someone else’s medication
When it comes to accidental poisoning, medication mismanagement is the leading cause in aging populations. Family caregivers must work to eliminate the situations where seniors are left on their own to take medicine unsupervised. Hiring elder care providers may be the solution for this.
Let Elder Care Providers Give In-Home Care
When an elderly person cannot be trusted to manage their own medications, they need to have someone else supervising the process. When family caregivers cannot be there, many turn to professional elder care providers. They come to the senior’s home and assist with daily duties that keep the senior safe and healthy. Besides meal preparation, light housekeeping and assisting with self-care, elder care providers can oversee the medication management. With a clear schedule and the appropriate doses written out, the elder care provider can help guide the senior in taking their pills.
In addition to helping with medication, elder care providers can provide company and companionship to aging adult during the day. This can prevent the seniors from worrying about the home and themselves. Instead of feeling uncomfortable about whether they took their pills or simply being forgetful, the seniors have someone there to help them focus on other things, from entertainment and hobbies to outings. Bored seniors tend to get into mischief that can be potentially harmful to them, so an elder care provider is one excellent way to prevent that.
Accidental poisoning can range from minor side effects to being fatal. Family caregivers can do a lot to prevent accidental poisoning by using elder care providers to supervise when they are absent. They can find plenty of resources at hospitals, senior community organizations and online during March’s Poison Prevention Awareness Month.
If you are considering Elder Care in Bay Village, OH, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Four Seasons Home Care today: (440) 716-9100.
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