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Helping Your Family Member Adjust to Nursing Home Living-Tip #37

The Ten Rights of Medication Administration have recently been reviewed. Become aware and familiar with the medications that are administered to your loved one; ask the nursing staff for a copy of the current medications and keep the list updated as changes occur. Nursing should promote and encourage non-pharmacological interventions to decrease drug use when possible. Be sure to notify the nursing staff of any known drug allergies. The more drugs a resident receives, the greater chance for interactions, as well as risk for errors. Many drugs have dangerous side effects that may lead to falls, organ damage and possible death. Facilities usually have a policy or procedure for reporting medication errors. These errors are routinely reported to the physician and the resident and/or the guardian, followed by the completion of an incident report and close monitoring of the resident. The resident’s safety should be ensured when receiving drug therapy. If there is any doubt about a medication that a nurse gives to your loved one, ask the nurse to confirm if it is the correct medication and/or if it was actually ordered.