At times your loved one may ask you to pick up some medicine for cold like symptoms or even pain relieving medications that can easily be bought without a prescription. Prior to coming to the nursing home, they may have been used to administering their own medications and able to take meds when needed. It is important that the nursing staff knows and monitors all medications that someone is taking to communicate with the provider and for safety reasons. Some reasons why this should be monitored is because we would not want to provide the same medication more than the recommended dose. Medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause damaging side effects in higher doses and if given too much of can be detrimental. Certain medications can also have negative effects when mixed with other medications. Nursing staff can monitor for side effects and dosing if all medications are being administered by staff only. If your loved one is asking you to bring medicines for them, please have them speak to the nursing staff or mention this to the nursing staff as well.
Please remind your loved one that the nursing staff will help them with their medications, and if there is something not already available then nursing staff will contact the physician and request an order. Nursing staff is not allowed to administer any medications without physician orders, as this is a regulation by law that needs to be followed by staff.
Toni Kurtze RN, DON