As you or your loved one enters their golden years, it’s not uncommon for doctors to prescribe a more complex medication regimen to help maintain health or manage conditions. According to research, about 60 percent of older adults take their prescriptions improperly. Here are five tips to help you or your loved one develop a medication schedule and maintain it.
A pillbox is a great way to properly separate your medications. Seniors who maintain a busy schedule or may have memory loss will need extra nudge to ensure they actually use the pillbox. Try having more than one pillbox, and keep them in places that maximize the chance they’ll be used. For example, keep one out on the bathroom counter if you need to take certain pills first thing in the morning. Keep a second pillbox on the table to help remember pills meant to be taken at lunch or during meals. They’re fairly cheap on Amazon and also available at many pharmacies.
A Pill Dispenser
Another great medication management system is a smart pill dispenser like this one by Hero Health. The display has a time and reminder for when your next dose should be taken and it even syncs with a smartphone for reminders, tracking, and information on each medication you’re taking. It can store, sort, and dispense a 90-day supply of up to 10 different medications.
Whether it’s on a phone or a radio, setting alarms is an important second step to ensure you or your loved one picks up the pillbox or goes to the pill dispenser. Pro tip: Set multiple alarms! That way, even if the first alarm is ignored, there is a failsafe in place to remind them again shortly after.
If you or your loved one are juggling an extensive list of medications, it can easily become overwhelming. While a pill dispenser auto-sorts, the traditional pillboxes require you to put in the work first of sorting and filling the box. It’s easy to get confused about how many of each go into which container, so having a chart to list them out can help you more easily track each medication. It can also be used as a daily check-off so you can refer to the chart if you or a loved one doesn’t recall if they took their pills for the day or not. Just use a whiteboard or even a large desk calendar to make your own or you can find various printable versions online.
Another step in correct medication management is refilling prescriptions in a timely manner. You can use your chart to keep track of refills or when your bottle is getting low, or set reminders ahead of time based on how many doses are in each bottle. It’s smart to fulfill all prescriptions at the same pharmacy if possible, and then the pharmacist also has a good record of your current medications.
At Careage, senior health is our priority – whether you or a loved one is struggling with a chronic condition or simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Our trained staff help with medication management and refilling prescriptions to create a streamlined care plan. Find out more about our services to see if a Careage community is right for you.