Medications place the home caregiver in a peculiar role. After a year of observing how a care facility deals with daily medications vs home care I’m struck by the ‘professionalism’ demanded of the home caregiver.
Medical and legal requirements dictate who can handle medications in professional environments, including training and education.
Yet in home care it is just taken for granted that the caregiver has their act together. The only training I ever received was a 20 minute session on how to give intramuscular Avonex injections. Years before that when Patti tried Calcium EAP as an ‘alternative medicine’ treatment, I had to give her weekly intravenous injections with no training.
When symptoms of mental confusion first appeared Patti’s doctors just expected me to remove her medications from her access and take over. Intuitively, because you are protecting the person in need, you create your own customized system of checks and balances. A degree from the “school of hard knocks” is usually the only medical training.
***(With 3 cats, I guess I could also consider blood loss and scars from “giving pills to cats” over the years as a qualification. <grin>)
Daily prescriptions as in the quantity pictured demands more than just giving someone a pill. Certain meds are
…to be taken with food
…while others should be taken on an empty stomach
…or at specific times of day.
A caregiver has
…to balance the timetable of refills
…find a way to pay for
…and pick up medications.
A caregiver has to research and remember which OTC medicines are in conflict. One cold remedy may contain a less compatible ingredient than another name brand.
I think home caregivers do an extraordinary job with this responsibility. The pictured basket of prescription bottles might seem innocuous, or at worst tedious. Looks deceive.