5 Topics to Discuss With Your Aging Parent:
- Prescription Medication: Learn what prescription drugs your parents are taking and check their drug cabinet(s) so you’re aware of the doctors, pharmacies and variety. Take note if they’re taking any opioids or tranquilizers.
- Ask About Their Pain and Sleep Issues: Medications can have an effect on sleep, which may be related to depression, pain or an imbalance in medications. Helping your parents find alternatives for chronic pain may help them sleep better as well.
- Pay Attention: Make sure they’re following the directions for medications and if they are from different pharmacies, help check on interaction issues that might arise among the variety of medications they take-including over-the-counter medicines and supplements. Be persistent. You might need to ask doctors, pharmacists, nurses more than once to get beyond what’s on the product insert.
- Be The Extra Set of Ears: Offer to attend medical visits with them so that everyone is sure about diagnosis and treatments. You might even be able to add to the conversation by sharing history or current issues that your parent doesn’t realize might be important.
- Get Social: Statistics show that the elderly live longer and healthier when they interact with others. You don’t need to be a part of every activity; however, knowing about your parents’ social life can indicate whether they are depressed or having other difficulties.