ElderCarelink Blog

Tips on orchestrating elders’ medications

by Dorian Martin
July 3rd, 2013 at 10:00 am

I recently had to take over the management of Dad’s medications when he wasn’t feeling well. That proved to be quite a lesson since he takes about seven pills in the morning and five more in the evening, as well as changing his pain patch every other day. It’s made me a lot more aware of the potential for medication mistakes.

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Caregivers: Store fentanyl patches safely away from children

by Dorian Martin
July 16th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Recently, my neighbor came over to provide some handyman help. Tagging behind him was his nearly three-year-old daughter, who has a penchant for picking up anything interesting that she sees. To make sure she didn’t venture off into areas where I couldn’t see her, I raced around the house closing bedroom doors. However, I neglected to close the door to Dad’s bathroom.

In hindsight, the omission was a mistake. That’s because Dad often leaves his fentanyl prescription on top of the bathroom vanity. The transdermal system, which looks like a clear adhesive bandage, releases a narcotic pain medicine over a three-day period. Dad uses it to ease his chronic back pain. Yet, fentanyl can have deadly consequences for young children (and pets) that are exposed to the skin patch through swallowing it or placing it on their skin.

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Guard against prescription mistakes after hospitalization

by Dorian Martin
July 10th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Like many people his age, Dad is on multiple medications that have been prescribed by several doctors. Therefore, we’ve come to depend on Dad’s pharmacist to help make sure he doesn’t have any drug interactions when he’s prescribed something new. But new research underscores that that safety net doesn’t always work.

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AARP study reveals rising medication costs for seniors

by Dorian Martin
January 27th, 2012 at 10:49 am

One of my regular duties is picking up my dad’s prescriptions at the pharmacy. He’s on five different medications for issues ranging from high blood pressure to an enlarged prostate. Fortunately, his Medicare Part D insurance lowers the cost until the end of the year when the donut hole kicks in. That’s when my mouth drops at the price for his prescriptions.

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Dealing with elders and chronic pain management

by Dorian Martin
November 10th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

My Dad recently panicked because he misplaced the prescription that eases his chronic pain. He has spinal stenosis, arthritis and degenerative spinal discs, which make it difficult for him to stand, walk or bend to pick anything off the floor. Therefore, this drug is a very important part of his medical arsenal.

So what is chronic pain? Unlike acute pain (which is resolved when the cause is treated and healing occurs), chronic pain usually lasts more than three months and is believed to cause changes in the nervous system that become progressively worse over time. Read more »