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Ask Jennifer: Week ending 9/7

Posted at: 03/30/2010 2:51 PM
Updated at: 09/03/2014 12:52 PM

MY MOTHER ISN’T GETTING THE RIGHT PILLS

Dear Jennifer,
I have been reading about the med tech that stole the medications at a senior community and gave them some other pill they didn’t even need. It really scares me. My mother is in a nursing home. How do I know she is getting the right medications? Some of my friends think this happens all the time. My mother takes narcotic anxiety pills and lately she seems extra anxious and complains of not feeling well. I think maybe the same thing happened to her and I just don’t know what to do. Please, I hope you will answer my letter.
 
Thank you and God Bless,
Serena


Dear Serena,

When something horrific happens, we all imagine what if it happened to us. That’s natural. I assure you that you’re not alone in your worries. Your first course of action is to request a meeting with the doctor and team to address your concerns. Ask them what they think is happening with your mom’s anxiety and reports of not feeling well. And ask them what they are doing to safeguard against medication theft. Ask for a list of her medications. If your mom is alert and oriented, ask the nursing home to create an image of her pills for both of you and instruction on which she takes when, so you both can verify she is swallowing the correct pills. If your mom isn’t clear minded, discuss this with the staff. See today’s article. If you continue to have concerns, hire an advocate to help you.

Warmly,
Jennifer