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Avoid Playing Russian Roulette with Medications: Senior Care Considerations

Senior Care in Mt. Laurel, NJ – Accidental Drug Interactions Can Have Dangerous Consequences

Senior Care in Mt. Laurel, NJRussian Roulette is a dangerous type of game where somebody takes a revolver, usually with six chambers (for bullets), places one bullet in the cylinders, spins it, and fires it at themselves. It is a pointless and ridiculous game, but it points out an important aspect when you’re talking about senior care. There are numerous prescription medications that doctors may prescribe for the patients, and even over-the-counter pills that elderly individuals and others may take in an effort to feel better, manage pain, or even get sleep.

Most people would never think about playing a game like Russian Roulette, but they might be doing it more frequently without even realizing it. Taking a dangerous combination of medications is one way that many people actually play this game on a regular basis without even being aware they’re doing it.

Yes, pharmacists are often the gatekeepers to help protect patients from potentially lethal or dangerous combinations of various prescription medications, but they can’t anticipate the individual taking certain over-the-counter sleep aids, pain medications, or other medications.

The patient should always be his or her best advocate with regard to avoiding playing Russian Roulette with their medications. How do we do this?

Be forthright and honest with the doctor.

The most important thing is that the patient who requires some type of senior care service is honest with his or her doctor. There may be numerous doctors in this person’s life, various specialists who all prescribed different medications for different purposes. Most of the doctors will have this information in a generalized file. However, the elderly individual should also tell each doctor whenever there is a prescription being written for pain relief, sleep aids, or any other type of over-the-counter medication they are currently using. This would include pills, liquid form, and even topical rubs.

Speak to the pharmacist as well.

Whenever picking up a prescription or considering a new over-the-counter medication, the patient should consult the pharmacist so that he or she can review all of the different medications the person is taking to ensure safety.

Most people simply assume that since their doctor prescribed a certain medication or that something they are taking is considered “over-the-counter” that it is safe. By itself it usually is, even though there may be certain side effects, but when mixed with other ingredients found in various other medications, it could be a dangerous combination.

This senior care tip can be strengthened by family members and even senior care service providers encouraging the patient to always consult their doctor as well as the pharmacist whenever considering taking a new prescription or over-the-counter medication.

For all of your senior care needs in Mt. Laurel, NJ and the surrounding areas call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.

Andrew Dubler

Home to Stay Health Care Solutions (H2S) is a solutions minded, non-medical home care company enabling seniors and disabled members of our community to stay at home.
Home to Stay Senior Care Solutions is owned and operated by the Dubler and Skole Families and was started because of experiences they had with their own Families. In one situation Mom was living alone and had a fall. It was not until this fall that the family realized they were unprepared.

When it was time for their Mom to come home, she needed companion and personal care to assist her and prevent another accident. Like most people in this situation, they were confused and did not know where to go for help. It was this life-changing experience that lead to starting a home care company that is focused on enabling those who wish to stay at home and age in place.
Andrew Dubler