elderly at doctor

Caregiving Monday—Using Caution When Combining Medications

The doctor recently prescribed a several new prescriptions for GG* to start.  We slowly started these, implementing only one new pill at a time.  We waited at least one to two weeks before starting a new one.

The reason we waited was because if there was a side effect to use, we wanted to know which pill was the result of the interaction.   elderly at doctor

GG has some medications that cause hallucinations as a side effect.  On one of these, we even asked her primary physician for a second opinion before starting the medicine.  He assured us we should start the medicine.  We felt better after having a second opinion.

elderly medicine            Thankfully someone stays with GG at night, because the night she started the new medication she was up all night.  The issue was not vomiting, as we had been advised, but hallucinations.  GG has a history of hallucinations due to medication and that is one of the reasons someone stays with her at night.  We have had to alter medications in the past due to these hallucinations.

These hallucinations can get interesting at times.  No matter how much you try to reassure GG no one else is here, run the imaginary people out or even play along with her, she often doesn’t believe you.

GG: “You think I’m crazy.”

Mama: “No, I believe you.  But you have to believe me when I tell you no one else is here.”

GG: “Okay.”     child and elderly person

Several hours later.

GG: “There’s that little boy over there.”

Me: “He left.”

GG: “Where did he go?”

Me: “I don’t know.  I guess home.”

GG: “You’re lying.  He’s right here.”

Me:  “Time for you to go home little boy.”

GG: “Now you’re just being silly.”

 

That’s just a sampling of the conversations we have.  At times it is difficult not to laugh in front of GG.  Other times you just have to play along and go with the flow.

mixing meds            However, if you know there is a lingering issue with medications, ask the primary physician before starting a new one.  Even if you have to get a second or third opinion.

From what GG physician has said once you get 6-8 medications mixed together, you are looking at a new ball game. So please keep this in mind when you are speaking with the physician about prescriptions.

If there are lingering issues with medications, you may want someone with your loved one the first few days of a new prescription.

What are some side effects new medications have caused in your elderly loved one?

 

*Name Altered

 

Tweetables:

Using Caution When Combining Medications in the elderly

What are the side effects of too many medications in the elderly

 

elderly caution

Caregiving Monday—Lifeline A Life Saver

elderly cautionOver the weekend, GG* gave us a good bit of excitement.

We received a call from lifeline on Saturday afternoon stating that GG was not responding.  Mama headed that way, while I called a neighbor and asked her to check on GG.

There are times when GG accidentally presses her lifeline or will press it due to hallucinations. We felt sure that this was why she’d pressed the lifeline this time.

However, the neighbor was able to assure us that this was a genuine need.  GG was weak after using the bathroom, lost her balance and fell into the shower.  Thankfully she as alright, but EMS arrived to help her up and check her over.  If there had been a serious injury, we know from experience, they would have transported her to the ER.

Having the lifeline is a saver.  GG did not have to stay in the tub until I arrived later that evening.  The EMS was able to safely get her up and check her over.  Lifeline promptly sent EMS out when they were unable to get an answer {sometimes this is due to GG being hard of hearing, but we’ve come to realize it is better safe than sorry}.  lifeline

By the time Mama arrived, EMS was on the scene and helping GG to her feet.

Although GG has someone with her on a daily basis and we stay with her at night, we are unable to be with her around the clock.  Knowing that she has her lifeline in case of an emergency is a relief to us as caregivers.  We know that she will press the button {as long as she’s physically able} to summon help.  It helps to know that someone is there to help her when we’re not.

Earlier this year, GG had a neighbor that refused to take the necessary precautions to prevent her numerous falls.  This resulted in a sad tragedy.

We do not want that for GG and encourage her to take her precaution necessary.  Having the lifeline is just an additional precaution in providing the best care necessary for GG.

What precautions do you take to prevent falls?

 

*Name altered

Tweetables:

Lifeline A Life Saver

How lifeline can really safe a life

The time saver of lifeline