An individual with Alzheimer’s or dementia may be prescribed several different medications. It is important that the medications are administered correctly to ensure safety.
First, coordinate with all care providers. Make sure all doctors are aware of the medications the individual is taking. This includes vitamins and natural supplements. Always have a list of medications and dosages when visiting the doctor. If a new medication is prescribed, ensure that it is okay to take it with other current medicines. Feel free to remind doctors of allergies or side effects experienced in the past.
Ask questions about new medications. It is important to know the name, dosage, purpose, and possible side effects all of medications. Never change a dosage without first consulting a doctor. If swallowing is an issue, inquire about liquid medications or the possibility of crushing pills. Always have a medication record on hand that includes the names of all medications, dosages, and start dates. This could be very helpful in the event of an emergency.
When administering medications to a person with Alzheimer’s, it may be necessary to provide reminders to them. A pill box organizer may be helpful in making sure the correct pills are taken on the proper days. Administer the medications at the same time daily. Some medications may need to be taken at certain times of day or with food, so keep this in mind when developing a schedule. Later in the disease, an individual may need more cues. Always give simple and clear instructions. People with Alzheimer’s may forgot when they took their medications last and accidentally overdose. If necessary, keep medications in a safe place such as a locked drawer or cabinet to prevent this.
For more information regarding medication safety, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 1.800.272.3900 or visit alz.org/dayton.