Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Insights from The Orlando Senior Help Desk: Dispensing drugs to the elderly

Caregivers have must dispense medication in a safe and timely fashion. Navigating the different pill sizes, colors and dosages can be an intimidating experience.

Elderly and infirmed clients may take a slew of pills that need to be doled out on a regular basis. Most medications are taken once or twice a day.

It is a good idea to keep medications in a safe and secure place. Some medications have to be refrigerated, but most can be safely stored in a secure cupboard. Pharmacies have developed blister packs that link the pills with specific days of the week. All medications should be administered at the same time every day. Modern pills have been designed for specific durations and maintaining a regular dosing schedule will decrease the risk of adverse reactions.

Dosages of drugs should not be changed without first consulting the client’s physician.

It is recommended that before taking over-the-counter products, herbs, vitamins and supplements speak with a physician. They may interact with the client’s normal medications by increasing or decreasing the medicinal concentration in the body.

Check the expiration date on the prescription bottle. Medications that are only used on an as-needed basis may become ineffective if left too long on the shelf. It is prudent to double check the prescriptions that are picked up from the pharmacy against a home list of medications being given. The employees filling the prescription are human and may make mistakes.

While most seniors face major adjustments when transitioning to an elder-care community, Jewish seniors face additional challenges. Not only do they lose their homes, and many of their friends, but they also lose ties to their cultural heritage. This is where the Jewish Pavilion, a 501c3 non-profit, steps in. The Pavilion serves as a resource that provides room visits, festive holiday celebrations, and more to 450 Jewish residents in fifty facilities for seniors. The Jewish Pavilion promotes inclusion, and thousands of seniors of all faiths are welcomed into our programs. http://www.JewishPavilion.org.

The Orlando Senior Help Desk (407-678-9363) helps thousands of callers navigate their way through the daunting senior maze, alleviating caregiver stress while giving advice on all types of elder issues. http://www.OrlandoSeniorHelpDesk.org.


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