ElderCarelink Blog

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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Medication issues for seniors

by Judy Kirkwood
June 13th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I was always amazed at how well my sister kept track of mom’s medications. It is not only a time consuming task to keep them all organized and on target regarding time of day and how long before or after eating, but it falls on the caregiver to also keep track of why a certain medication has been prescribed, and to try to keep a lid on medication costs if there is a generic alternative.

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“Pharmageddon”: When Pain Management Leads To Misuse

by Sue Lanza
September 9th, 2010 at 2:12 am

Being a part of the health care industry for so many years, the effective management of pain has always been a prime focus for me. About ten years ago, some of the regulatory agencies dubbed pain “the fifth vital sign” (along with temperature, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure) elevating pain awareness and treatment mandatory for every client interaction. The reasoning behind the change was valid: studies had shown that pain was clearly being under-treated by clinicians forcing radical steps to be taken. What wasn’t expected was the significant increase in misuse and abuse of certain classes of pain medications. Now what?

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You May Be Hazardous To Your Health!

by Sue Lanza
August 26th, 2010 at 2:12 am

Yeah, you heard me right. You MAY be hazardous to your own health if you aren’t taking charge of protecting yourself from all the possible things that can go wrong out there in health care land.

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