Caregiving Corner

Get and stay organized to manage medicines

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Stay current: pull the pieces into a clear picture

As a caregiver, you may take your loved one to doctors’ appointments, keep track of medicines and oversee treatment. It can be a challenge to keep up with everything! Here are some helpful tips.

Know which medicines your loved one takes

Without specific medical names of drugs, doctors cannot determine whether additional medicines they prescribe will interact with current medicines. Have a complete list of your loved one’s medicines at your fingertips.

Know your loved one’s medical team

Your loved one may have three or four doctors, all for different reasons. Keep an ongoing list of doctor names and specialties, phone numbers (and after-hours phone numbers) available at all times.

Know your loved one’s health history

Most doctor appointments ask for a complete medical history, which includes medicines, allergies and all surgeries, no matter how minor. You should also include all diagnoses and medicines, including vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and your loved one’s reaction to any allergens.

If your loved one has had side effects resulting from a medicine in the past, like nausea or fatigue, note that as well to make sure that your loved one is getting the best possible care.

Claudia Fine LCSW, MPH, CMC, CCM

Humana At HomeSM caregiving expert and geriatric care leader for 30-plus years