Pain management often involves prescription medications in the senior years. While modern medicine has made it easier to keep your loved one comfortable, many prescription painkillers come with risks. Side effects, such as dizziness and fatigue, can make it more likely that your loved one could experience a fall-related injury. As their family caregiver, you can use these strategies to keep them safe from potential side effects caused by their pain medication.
Set Up a Medication Management Plan
Seniors sometimes struggle with taking their medication correctly. The reasons for this can vary from age-related memory loss to more serious issues such as confusion caused by the medications. Although your loved one could experience a medication mishap at any time, they are more vulnerable after receiving new medications that change their current routine. Unfortunately, taking too much of a prescription painkiller can increase the severity of side effects that contribute to falls. Help your loved one set up a medication management plan that deters mix-ups with their dosing. For instance, senior in home care providers offer services, such as medication administration, that help your loved one to avoid negative drug interactions.
Eliminate Fall Risks at Home
Even with proper dosing, your loved one may still experience side effects such as altered movements and grogginess that make it more likely that they could fall just walking through the house. Make sure that they have a clear walking path by removing fall hazards such as rugs and furniture from the area. You may also need to add lighting to hallways and consider adding handrails near areas with stairs.
Arrange for Assistance With Risky Activities
At some point, many older adults with chronic pain require in home care to help them manage activities that pose a risk for falls. For instance, your loved one may not react in time to stop themselves from falling in a slippery bathtub if they are dizzy from their medication. Arrange for someone to be with your loved one when they bathe, clean the house, or do other activities that place them at risk for a fall.
When your loved one takes medications that could cause serious side effects, you must take action to keep them safe. By eliminating potential risks and providing a steady hand for those activities that must be done, you can ensure that your loved one's treatment plan does not interfere with their safety.
Contact a company like Seniors Helping Seniors to learn more about in home care services.