Managing Medications: What Unpaid Family Caregivers Need to Know




This unique Gude provides Unpaid Family Caregivers with a wealth of information on home-based management of medications — one of many clinical tasks UFCs have to handle in caregiving. Content content covers a wide range of topics forms of medication to common abbreviations to how prescriptions work to how to handle medications safely. The Guide outlines a simple process for handling medications while pointing out the potential complications that can arise.

Unpaid Family Caregivers are the foundation of our health care system. Without what they do in our homes every day and every hour of the year, our health care system would not work. One of the most important responsibilities an Unpaid Family Caregiver accepts is managing a loved one’s medications. This Guide offers basic information on medications and on steps any UFC can take to see that medications are taken properly and in a way that ensures a loved one’s well being.  UFCs will learn:

  • The Process of Managing Medications
  • The Never Do List
  • What Makes You a Family Caregiver?
  • Your Job as a Medication Manager
  • Terms and Abbreviations You May Need to Know
  • Is It Legal for You to Manage Your Loved One’s Medications?
  • Other People’s Jobs (and Verifying Credentials)
  • What Do Your Loved One’s Health Care Providers Know About You?
  • What is the Difference Between Clinical and Nonclinical?
  • Medications: What Are They?
  • Is Every Medication Safe and Effective for Everyone to Use?Special Issues: Older Adults; People with Dementia
  • Is It Reliable? The Internet; On-Line Pharmacies; Imported Drugs
  • Can You Import a Drug Not Approved by the FDA for Personal Use?
  • What is a Care Plan?
  • Medications and Treatment Plans
  • When Other People Give Medications
  • Illness, 911, Medication in Facilities
  • Paying for Medications
  • Package Inserts
  • Labels for Non-Prescription Drugs
  • Prescriptions and Prescription Labels
  • Is Your Loved One Willing and Able to Use Medications as Instructed?
  • Resources
  • How-To Appendix
    • What to Do on Your First Visit to a Doctor Who Doesn’t Know You
    • What to Ask about New (and Old) Prescriptions
    • Ensuring Safe Use of a Medication
    • Preparing an Inventory, Medication List, and Medication Schedule


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