Protecting Your Loved Ones

Protecting Your Loved Ones

by  Carolina Sewald

Being a caregiver, knowing the type of medication you are giving your loved ones could save their life.

As a caregiver, your prime focus is the safety and wellbeing of your loved one. You are responsible for maintaining their quality of life and keeping them happy and healthy. This may seem pretty obvious but with prescriptions being written for elderly patients for everything under the sun, the safety of the patient may require slightly more attention than you had originally presumed.

Pharmaceutical companies have been producing medications that have saved thousands of lives for years however, some companies have been known to withhold important safety information from its users for the sake of selling more product.

Companies especially target elderly patients as they don’t have much control over the medications they take. They are under the impression that the medication will help them and give them the freedom from their pain that they long for. With the exception of some, whom without this medication would be in much worse condition, there are much safer alternative methods to healing than taking multiple pills several times a day.

Caregivers are responsible for knowing what medication a patient is taking and that they are taking it at the proper times and dosages. More often than not, caregivers do not realize that the medications are potentially harmful to the users. Seniors are often prescribed medications for their body pains, heart conditions, anxiety, and for some, diabetes. A mixture of these can often result in adverse effects that are harmful or deadly for the patients. It is recommended that research is done for every new medication a patient is prescribed to make sure it does not counteract with current medicines.

Medications that have been proven to cause harm to patients include Actonel (risedronate) and Fosamax (alendronic acid) for osteoporosis, Crestor (rosuvastatin) to prevent heart attacks and stroke, Zoloft (sertraline) and Prozac (fluoxetine) for depression, and even Tylenol (acetaminophen) for everyday pains.

With age our bodies start to function less efficiently and therefore processing medications becomes a more difficult task for the body. With longer processing times, the body retains the toxic chemicals of medications within the body for extended periods of time. This means that if a patient has a negative reaction to a medication, it would take longer for them to recover and their body to rid itself of the toxins than, say, a 30 something year old.

Making the call to take responsibility for an aging loved one is by no means an easy decision but in every way an honorable one. In home care saves them from costly nursing homes, it ensures that they are comfortable and safe at all times, and it keeps them happy knowing that they are not alone. With all the tasks that come with this decision, medication safety should be one less worry to have.

Carolina Sewald is a student at the University of Central Florida and is currently an intern for Drug Dangers, a website that works to keep the public informed of dangerous medications and medical devices. She focuses her writing on medial news in hopes of keeping citizens healthy and safe.

Note: The Imperfect Caregiver is not a medical professional. The information provided in this blog post are those of the author, Carolina Sewald, and Drug Dangers. Publication on this blog does not constitute endorsement.

Caregivers making medical decisions and/or administering medications should always consult with the patient’s  physicians when determining the best course of care. Do not discontinue any medication without first discussing  your concerns with the doctors and making sure you understand the possible consequences to the patient.

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