If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you know it is important to take your heart disease meds just as prescribed. But what specifically does that mean? Here are some tips from Specialty Care Services which will help you better understand and manage senior medication for heart disease:
- Be aware of what medicines you’re taking. Find out their generic and brand names and be sure you understand what each one does. Go over the patient information so you’re alert to possible side effects.
- Be sure to take your meds at the same time each day. When you partner with Specialty Care Services, your caregiver can help remind you when it’s time to take your dose. Never stop or change any medication without talking it over with the doctor first.
- Create a list of all your medications. Include the daily dose for each one. Maintain a copy at home as well as one in your purse or wallet.
- If you’re having a difficult time paying for your medications, ask the physician for recommendations. Don’t skimp on doses to try to save money. This could be harmful to your health.
- Speak with your doctor before taking OTC meds or herbal remedies. Some may worsen heart failure symptoms. These include antihistamines (like Benadryl), antacids and NSAIDS (like Motrin or Advil).
- Refill your prescription prior to running out of medicine. If you have trouble getting to the pharmacy, a home care companion can help you in picking up the medication.
- Take your prescriptions with you when you travel and continue to take them according to your normal schedule. If you’ll be away from home for an extended time, take an extra week’s supply. Keep a copy of your prescriptions with you in case you need a refill.
- At times, ACE inhibitors can make you cough. If you’re coughing excessively and can’t sleep or take care of your daily activities, call your doctor.
- If you take diuretics (also referred to as water pills), you’ll most likely have to go to the bathroom more frequently. If you’re told to take one dose of a diuretic each day, take it in the morning. If you take two doses, be sure to take the second dose by late afternoon to avoid additional trips to the restroom during the night.
- Be alert for symptoms of dehydration whenever taking diuretics. These may consist of intense thirst, dry mouth, dark-colored urine or lower urine output, constipation and feeling dizzy. If any of these red flags occur, check with the doctor prior to making any changes in medication or fluid intake.
Professional caregivers from Specialty Care Services, the leaders in home care in Bethesda and surrounding areas, can make life with heart disease more manageable. They can assist with day-to-day activities, prepare balanced meals, help manage senior medication for heart disease and provide medication reminders, and provide transportation to doctors’ appointments and the pharmacy. Call us at (301) 585-6300 to learn more about our Silver Spring home health care and to hire a home health aide in nearby areas.