Continued from previous page.

“Adherence to multiple treatment regimens require a multi-disciplinary approach and involve various stakeholders,” says Ms Lim Zhiying, Senior Medical Social Worker at Singapore General Hospital, a member of the SingHealth group.

In this article, she shares some tips for caregivers of elderly people with multiple chronic illnesses.

4 ways caregivers can help elderly people with multiple chronic illnesses keep to their medication regimens

It is helpful for caregivers to:

  1. Understand what the elderly person wants and values
    • Talk to your loved one directly, if possible, and ask what are the things that he/she looks forward to, values, and finds important.
    • When your loved one is unable to communicate with you, try to recall what is important to him/her during past interactions with you.
  2. Involve and empower the elderly person in the management of his/her medication regimen
    • Involve your loved one in the consultation and seek his/her opinions or concerns toward the treatment regimens recommended.
    • Listen to and validate your loved one’s struggles in adhering to his/her treatment regimen
    • Affirm his/her efforts in adhering his/her treatment regimen.
  3. Provide feedback to doctors regarding the side-effects of the elderly person’s medication regimen
    • Identify a primary doctor, if possible, to highlight and provide feedback on the concerns and side-effects that your loved one has in adhering to the treatment regimen.
    • If you and your loved one have difficulties identifying a primary doctor, please check with a doctor whose medical discipline will be more appropriate to address the concerns your loved one has.
  4. Practise self-care in your caregiving journey
  5. Some ways to care for yourself is to:

    • set aside time to rest and do things that you enjoy
    • attend to your own physical health
    • seek help when caregiving becomes overwhelming.

See previous page to find out why the elderly find it difficult to keep to their medication regimen.

Ref: N18