As a caregiver, you would be helping your loved ones along the journey to good health care.
Do help the care-receiver talk to their doctors and other medical personnel. Most importantly, follow through with their medical treatment at home.
It is often tempting to decide what is best for the loved one, however it is best to recognize the care-receiver's need to choose. We all need control of our lives, and this is especially true for a person who needs the help of others.
Some questions to ask when you make the first appointment:
On the first visit to the doctor, the list of current medications and previous medical records should be given to the doctor.
Your loved one may be taking several medications at one time. It is possible that these drugs can interact with one another and cause harmful effects. If more than one doctor is prescribing medications, it is important to keep each doctor aware of the drugs that are being taken. You can keep them informed by bringing all your medications in a paper bag or a list of all your drugs to each doctor. Both over-the-counter or non-prescription drugs can cause problems. Talk with your pharmacist before using them.
Medication list should include the essentials:
Having a ‘pill box’ would be helpful for the loved one. Fill in the box weekly would save time and allow the monitoring on compliance each week. It will help the loved one to keep in control of the management of his medication. Allow the sense of independence, as this will improve self worth and satisfaction. The above measures will reduce the tendency for error; such as forgetting a dose or taking the medication in multiple doses.
Note: Post phone numbers for the following agencies next to your telephone or a conspicuous place where they can easily be seen by anyone.
DR. NOR IZZATI is an internal medicine specialist, clinical fellow in geriatric medicine and lecturer based in University of Malaya.