If you or a senior loved one in your life have been diagnosed with heart disease, you know how important proper heart medication management for seniors is. It is essential to take heart disease meds exactly as prescribed. But what exactly does that mean? Here are a few helpful recommendations from Advanced Home Health Care to help you get the most from your meds:
- Be aware of what medicines you’re taking. Learn their generic and brand names and be sure you fully understand what each one does. Thoroughly read the patient informational sheet so you’re familiar with possible side effects.
- Be sure to take your meds at the same time every day. When you work together with Advanced Home Health Care, your caregiver can remind you when it’s time to take your doses. Don’t stop or change any medication without first speaking to the doctor.
- Create a list of all your medications. Include the daily dose of each one. Keep a copy at home as well as one in your wallet or purse.
- If you’re having difficulty paying for your medications, ask your doctor for guidance. Don’t skimp on dosages to try to save money. Doing so could harm your health.
- Speak with your doctor prior to taking any OTC drugs or herbal remedies. Some may exacerbate heart failure symptoms. These include antihistamines (like Benadryl), antacids and NSAIDS (like Motrin or Advil).
- Refill your medications prior to running out of medicine. If you find it difficult to get to the pharmacy, a caregiver can help you pick up the medication.
- Take your prescriptions with you anytime you travel and continue to take them on your normal routine. If you’ll be away from home for an extended time, take an extra week’s supply. Be sure to have a copy of your prescriptions with you in case you need a refill.
- Sometimes ACE inhibitors may make you cough. If you’re coughing excessively and can’t sleep or perform your daily activities, call your physician.
- If you take diuretics (also referred to as water pills), you will probably have to go to the bathroom more frequently. If you’re advised to take one dose of a diuretic each day, take it in the morning. If you take two doses, be sure to take the second one by late afternoon to prevent additional trips to the bathroom during the night.
- Watch for symptoms of dehydration when taking diuretics. These may consist of intense thirst, dry mouth, dark-colored urine or lower urine output, constipation and dizziness. If any of these warning signs occur, seek advice from your doctor prior to making any adjustments to medication or fluid intake.
Professional in-home caregivers from Advanced Home Health Care can make heart medication management for seniors easier. We can assist with everyday activities, prepare nutritious meals, provide medication reminders and take you to medical appointments and the pharmacy. Call us at 319.753.6270 to learn more about our home care assistance in Burlington and the surrounding communities in the counties of Des Moines, Lee, Henry, Louisa and Van Buren. For more details about all of the areas we service, please visit our Service Areas page.