This week I decided to interview both my grandparents to see how strong their medication knowledge is.
One grandma passed with flying colors! She worked as a nurse for over 50 years. She knew her scheduled drug names, doses, times, side effects, and critical finding that would need to be reported to the doctor. As an A Fib patient, she is on several different cardiac medications and visits the Coumadin clinic regularly. She also informed me, “I always call the clinic before I let any other doctor prescribe me anything to make sure it will not throw off my INR.” I was not surprised that this grandma would be very well informed on her medications.
Grandpa on the other hand, was not quite so good. He relies heavily on Grandma to assist with his medications. He is on oral medications for diabetes, hypertension, and cholesterol and he uses a pain patch for his back. Although he could name his meds, he was not as strong remembering how much of each one he takes each day.
This activity made me realize how much my grandma’s nursing knowledge can really help them. Even in their 80’s, my grandma is able to advocate, ask the right questions, and organize medications effectively. Both carry updated drug lists in their wallets for emergencies and remain very connected with their physician’s. I was actually rather impressed by their drug knowledge, but I definitely realize this is not the case for all older adults!