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5 Medication Tips For Senior Patients

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5 Medication Tips For Senior Patients

Medication for all kinds of patients is sensitive and even more so if the patient in question lies in the senior age category. If you’re a senior patient dealing with a chronic medical condition that requires excessive amounts of prescriptive medicine, then you probably know that keeping a track of your daily prescriptive intake and then actually taking your medication at the right time can be quite difficult as you have not been exposed to this kind of a scenario before. These simple tips, however, can make your life a tad bit easier.

1. Ask important questions about your medicines

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    After receiving a list of medicines to help you cope and recuperate from your chronic illness from a professional medical practitioner, it is highly advisable that you ask your doctor all the whats, whys, and hows.

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    It is very important for you to get as much information as you can about your medicines from your doctor because that information will directly affect how you use those medicines to create a better and more rounded impact.

    Although you can go into a very detailed conversation with your doctor regarding your medicines, the most basic and common questions to ask include:

    • How should you take them?
    • What side effects should you expect?
    • What should you do in case something unexpected happens?

    The questions are not just limited to these but these are just a few important questions that will help you to improve your condition at the moment. The more information you get, the better it is for you.

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    2. Keep extra stock in a dry place

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      Storing medicines can be a very useful idea in case you run out of yours and are unable to go to the pharmacy because of unforeseen circumstances. Not to mention, if you’ve got pets and children in your house, proper storage can come in handy to keep your tiny pills away from little children to avoid dangerous situations. In such an instance, the best place to store your medication is a dry cabinet or shelf high enough to be out of reach from the little ones. Additionally, moisture in the air can affect the chemical composition of your medicines and render them useless. Proper care in the storage of your medicines is highly important towards your wellbeing.

      3. Arrange and segregate your medicines in an orderly manner

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        Keeping track of too many pills and too many doses can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve got more than half a dozen pills to keep a track of – or if you’re dealing with a chronic medical condition characterized by memory loss! It becomes even more difficult if you’re not depending on a caregiver. In such a case, organizing your medication in a weekly medication box is a great idea. Not only does this serve as a way to relieve you of the anxiety of having to remember what pills to take and at what time of the day or week, but it also significantly reduces the chances of you missing your medicines or making mistakes by accidentally taking the wrong pill. It does, however, take some time to sort things out. But you can always have someone looking after you help you out with the task.

        4. Follow your prescription

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          Sometimes senior patients suffering from chronic medical conditions tend to be so paranoid that they feel the need to consume higher doses of a particular medicine to ease the discomfort of common symptoms related to their condition, such as headaches, anxiety, and heartburn. Interestingly, you can adopt healthy eating habits to avoid a headache, but you should only be taking your medications as prescribed. Chances are that by taking a dose higher than prescribed, you just might end up making the symptom even worse – possibly even suffer dangerous consequences. On the contrary, if you think that some symptoms are worrying you more than you had expected or been told by your doctor, then you should visit your doctor before taking extra pills on your own. Maybe a change of medicine is what you need.

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          5. Prepare a list

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            If you’ve hired professional caregiver services to attend to your medical needs, preparing a list of all your medicines and dosages in advance for the person attending to you helps a great deal. This way, your caregiver will be fully aware of your medicinal needs and will make sure that you get the correct dose at the right time. Also, make sure you communicate all the questions you asked your doctor on the visit to your caregiver as well. It is best that your caregiver has as much information as you do about your condition – the more the better.

            Medicines are immensely beneficial for those who are sick, especially the elderly who experience much more sensitivity to pain than younger people. It should be taken into consideration that the more sensitive the impact of a medication, the greater involvement you need to have in its upkeep and care. For senior patients, it is highly important to take good care of their medication. The doctor is just a consultant; the medicine is the real agent. Better use and care of it will maximize the impact it has on the disease and lead to a better and healthier life and an even faster recovery from your condition.

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            Featured photo credit: Jose Luis Pelaez / Flickr via flickr.com

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            Last Updated on October 7, 2021

            Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

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            Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important (And How To Do So)

            In today’s chaotic world, having family time isn’t always easy. It can get pretty hard to coordinate schedules, especially if the family is large. Life demands that we work, attend school, nurture friendships, hobbies, etc. All of those things are extremely time-consuming and important—but so is spending time with your family.

            Why is family time so important? Because we all need love and support, and a good, strong family can provide that regularly. For children, spending time with their family helps shape them into good, responsible adults, improve their mental health, and develop strong core values.

            There are many positive effects of spending time with your family. My family and I, for instance (and this includes grandchildren as well), meet every Tuesday night for dinner and games. My older son and I take turns cooking. This gives all of us a chance to try some new recipes. After dinner, we play games. And without fail, they inspire competitiveness and laughter. As family night has evolved, the grandkids have invited their friends over as well, creating the need for more chairs but also expanding our circle of fun.

            Aside from the obvious fun and games, there are other reasons why spending time with your family is paramount. In this article, I will provide you with multiple reasons why spending time with your family regularly is a win-win. And then, I will lay out some ways on how to do it.

            Let’s get started, shall we?

            Why Spending Time With Your Family Is Important

            Here are six reasons why it’s important to spend time with your family.

            1. Provides the Opportunity to Bond

            When you spend time together as a family—talking about your day, your highs, your lows—it fosters communication. As parents, it gives you the chance to listen to your children, to hear them out, to learn about what’s going on in their world. It also provides you with the opportunity to use life situations as teaching moments.

            Before our Tuesday night dinner/game nights, my family used to see each other pretty regularly but not consistently, especially the grandkids. Our family night changed all that. Now, it’s guaranteed that the grandchildren, along with some of their friends, will be there. Not only do I get to find out what’s been happening in their lives, but they also get to know us better. It’s creating memories they can treasure forever, as well as modeling the Get-Together tradition for when they eventually have families of their own.

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            “Spending time partaking in everyday family leisure activities has been associated with greater emotional bonding within families.”[1]

            2. Teaches the Value of Family

            Taking the time to be with your family lets your children know they are valued—that spending time together is a priority. I know that in today’s world, both parents are busy as both usually working. What better way to let your children know they are loved than by carving out time each week to spend with them?

            According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D., “words like honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage are core to centuries of religious, philosophical, and family beliefs. Use them and others to express and reinforce your family values. Teach children the behaviors that flow from these principles. Use quotes to ignite meaningful dinner conversations and encourage kids to talk about these values.”[2]

            3. Enhances Mental Well-Being

            Spending that quality time together gives your children a safe platform in which to express themselves, ask questions about things that are bothering them, or talk about their day and things they’ve learned. I know that my 9-year old granddaughter can’t wait until it’s her turn to talk about her day. She usually goes on and on and has to be stopped to give everyone else a chance to talk about their goings-on.

            “Research shows the quality of family relationships is more important than their size or composition. Whoever the family is made up of, they can build strong, positive relationships that promote wellbeing and support children and young people’s mental health.”[3]

            For children, having the opportunity to seek advice from parents they trust—as well as being able to have a sounding board and help with problem-solving—is priceless. In addition, being able to voice their opinions and be heard—and to feel like what they have to say matters—is an esteem-builder. All of these can have a very impactful positive effect on their well-being.

            4. Helps the Child Feel Loved

            How do you think a child feels knowing their parents want to spend time with them—talking, sharing experiences, playing games, listening to them? It will make them feel as though they are important, and a child that feels important is happier and more apt to thrive. Setting aside chores or work to spend time with your children demonstrates that they’re essential—that they matter. What a gift to give your child!

            “If a child has your undivided attention, it signals that they are loved and important to you. This can be further nurtured by experiencing joyful activities together, as it demonstrates that you want to spend time with your children over and above all of the daily demands.”[4]

            5. Creates a Safe Environment

            If you regularly spend time with your children, you are also creating an atmosphere of trust. The more trust they have, the more likely they are to share with you what’s going on in their world. As they get older, you’re going to want to know. Negative influences can show up at any time, but if you’ve always been there for your child, they are more apt to come to you and ask for your advice.

            Spending time together generates familiarity and feelings of being supported. When a child feels safe and comfortable, they’re more likely to open up. This is one way to get to know your child and know what’s on their minds. Are they okay? Do they need your guidance? If so, how?

            6. Reduces Stress

            This is significant. We all suffer from stress at one point or another in our lives. Spending time with family helps alleviate that stress. It’s an opportunity to talk things out, get feedback, and maybe brainstorm for a solution to the problem that is causing the stress.

            According to Brandy Drzymkowski, “During the holidays, your closest five people probably shifts to family and friends. You may even get to see loved ones who live far away. Good news! This can actually help lower your stress levels. Studies show ‘face-to-face interaction…counteracts the body’s defensive ‘fight-or-flight’ response.’ In other words, quality time spent with loved ones is nature’s stress reliever.”[5]

            So, now that you know some of the benefits, what are some ideas for making family time happen?

            How to Make Family Time Happen

            Here are four things you can do to make family time happen and spend more time with them.

            1. Family Dinners

            This, as I said above, is a wonderful way to spend time together. While you’re having dinner, you have the chance to discuss things that are going on in your lives—the ups, the downs, and everywhere in between. It’s like having a buffer against life’s challenges.

            Aside from that, eating dinner together has many additional benefits. Studies have shown that for kids who eat regularly with their families, there is less risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression.[6]

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            “Our belief in the ‘magic’ of family dinners is grounded in research on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family meals.” It further states, “We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner—the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.”[7]

            According to Parenting NI, “children and adolescents who spend more time with their parents are less likely to get involved in risky behavior. According to studies done by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse via Arizona State University, teens who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to use tobacco, nearly twice as likely to use alcohol and one and a half times more likely to use marijuana.”[8]

            As you can see, there are multiple benefits to spending time with each other routinely. You can’t go wrong with this family activity.

            2.  Regular Movie Nights

            This is another fun event, although, from personal experience, I have to caution that choosing a movie that everyone wants to see is not easy. So, give yourselves plenty of time so you don’t spend two hours searching for a movie, and then end up watching no movie at all because the night is practically over. Try and choose a movie before the day, if possible.

            Afterward, open it up for discussion. Ask questions pertinent to the movie. What do you think of ABC? Should they have done that? Would you have done something differently? There are so many questions you can ask to spark a conversation and keep the night going.

            3. Game Night

            This is another occasion for great fun. If you have a competitive spirit, it makes it even more fun. There are numerous games out there—Balderdash, Pictionary, Apples to Apples, Charades, to name a few—that can create fun havoc. All I can say is, on game nights, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay if you lose the game. The fun is in being together, laughing, debating, and having a good time.

            In addition, “Playing board games is great for children for many reasons besides the obvious; it’s fun to play games! Age appropriate games can help children to think strategically, solve problems creatively, work on pattern recognition and build simple math skills. They also help children develop social skills such as following rules, taking turns, and graceful winning or losing. Additionally, a family game night provides an opportunity for children to bond with siblings, parents and family members as well as peers. It can promote tradition building and establish a fun routine.”[9]

            So, go find your family a game and start having fun!

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            4. Sharing a Hobby

            If you and one of your kids like to do the same things, do it more often. For example, my oldest son and his teenage son go on long bike rides together on the weekends. Not only do they get to exercise, but they also get to talk and look at beautiful sceneries. They’ve also incorporated cooking into their routine. They plan the meal, shop, and prepare—activities that bring them closer together.

            Sharing a hobby is a great way to bring family members together. It bonds people in amazing ways. According to Alison Ratner Mayer, LICSW, “One of the easiest and most important ways to build a child’s self-esteem is to spend time with them doing something not only that they enjoy but something that you also enjoy. There is a special magic that happens between a parent and a child when they share a mutually beloved activity. It sends the message to the child that their parents are having fun, true, honest, real fun, with them.”[10]

            Final Thoughts

            Spending time with the family is an investment. It is an investment in the happiness, well-being, and security of that system. It can also serve as a way to break out of the daily rut and the constant worldly demands, while at the same time, building a strong family unit.

            Even though it isn’t always easy to find the time, finding the time is key to staying close and to providing and receiving love and support. There is no greater gift than the gift of time. That’s what we all seem to be missing nowadays. So, in giving that gift consistently, everyone feels loved and appreciated.

            The family that takes the time to interact regularly is typically happy. They know they are part of a tribe, and that’s essential in today’s chaotic world. To know that there are people whom you can count on—people who will have your back in times of need—is invaluable.

            Now, go and plan something plan with your family, if you haven’t already.

            Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Pittsburgh Parent: Spending Time Together—Benefits of Family Time
            [2] Roots of Action: Integrity: How Families Teach and Live Their Values
            [3] Beyond Blue: Healthy Families
            [4] Esperance Anglican Community School: The importance of family time
            [5] Brandy Drzymkowski: Spending Time With Loved Ones Reduces Stress
            [6] Harvard Graduate School of Education: Harvard EdCast: The Benefit of Family Mealtime
            [7] The Family Dinner Project: BENEFITS OF FAMILY DINNERS
            [8] Parenting NI: The Importance of Spending Time Together
            [9] WNY Children: Family Game Night- The Benefits of Game Play
            [10] Child Therapy Boston: The Benefits of Sharing a Hobby With Your Child

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