Do You Practice Medication Safety?

A list of questions to help you decide if you and your loved one are practicing medication safety.

As a caregiver, one of your main concerns is probably helping your loved one maintain his or her health. The administration of medicine is one important aspect of this process, and there are a few things that you can do to ensure that your loved one is taking his or her medications correctly. To find out if you and your loved one are practicing medication safety, read through the following list. If you answer “yes” to any of the items below, you may not be practicing safe medication administration.

  • I have crushed or opened capsules to make it easier for my loved one to take the medication.
  • I sometimes mix the medication with hot water or tea to make it easier for my loved one to take.
  • I have given my loved one his or her medication after he or she has had alcohol.
  • I sometimes mix the medication with food although I have never consulted the doctor about doing so.
  • My loved one’s doctor told me that I could mix the medication with food, so I often prepare it well in advance to save time later.
  • I sometimes check the medication container before giving my loved one his or her medications.
  • My loved one takes his or her own medicine sometimes. He or she may need special labeling on the container to identify the medication, but I haven’t contacted my pharmacist about making such changes.
  • I have the medication that my loved one currently takes in the front of the medicine cabinet, and all of the old medicine containers stored behind.
  • I have a medication chart that I made a few months ago that I use to keep track of my loved one’s medications.
  • Sometimes my loved one is late getting a dose of medication—or misses one altogether—and I haven’t checked with the doctor about what to do in these situations.
  • My loved one’s prescription wasn’t filled on time, so he or she missed a dose or two. I didn’t tell the doctor about it because I didn’t want him or her to think that I wasn’t taking good care of my loved one.
  • The medication helped my loved one, so I stopping giving it to him or her before the entire prescription was done.
  • My loved one’s medication is for something pretty general, so when I am suffering from the same problem I take a dose or two instead of going to the store or doctor myself.
  • The prescription label isn’t exactly clear to me, but I read it a few times and think that I figured out what it means.
  • I carry information about my loved one’s medications with me, but my loved one doesn’t because others can just contact me if there is an emergency.
  • My loved one seems like he or she needs more medicine, so I just called the pharmacist and asked for a refill.

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