As we get older we tend to incur more health problems. More health issues generally mean more medications and keeping track of all of them can be difficult. One or two medicines may not be a challenge, but what if you have upwards of nine or ten? When you add that to the complex issue of dementia, it can be easy for someone to mix-up or forget his or her medications.
Here are some useful tips on how to effectively manage your meds or manage them for a loved one in your care.
1. Set Reminders on Your Phone
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life it’s easy to forget to do even the simplest things. This is one great reason to use technology to your advantage. Keep your medication schedule as a set reminder on your phone. Some meds need to be taken at a certain time of day or with a certain meal. You can help yourself remember where and when with the touch of a button.
2. Pre-organize Your Pills into a Dispenser
When you have multiple pills to take, it’s usually a good idea to set them up in pillbox organizers. This way you’re able to organize them up by which days you need to take them and in what quantity.
3. Request Easy to Open Containers
Many elderly people suffer from arthritic or other joint related inhibitions. Difficult to open pill bottles can make taking your medicine, or even sorting it, a hassle. To resolve this, make a simple request to the pharmacist for easy to open pill bottles. For example, some bottles have reversible twist off caps.
4. Pay Attention to Labels and Side Effects
Many medications will ask you not to take it if you’ll be operating a vehicle or machinery, or warn you that it may cause debilitating side effects like nausea. These are prudent to heed when considering your daily activities. Also, pay attention to those meds that are suggested to take with water or food. The suggestion may be there because the medicine causes dehydration or stomach upset if not taken otherwise.
5. Try and Stick to One Pharmacy
Find a pharmacy that you like that treats you as a valued customer and stick to it. Knowing your pharmacist and techs and them knowing you not only makes your experience more pleasant, but they’re able to advise you on replacement medications (generic brands) or changes in your medication prices, as they’re familiar with your history.
We understand that sometimes managing your daily medical needs can be difficult to do alone, which is why 24/7 Nursing Care offers in-home companion and nursing services. Our companions and nurses are dedicated to helping seniors and providing support. Learn more with a free in-home consultation.
Bemis, E. (n.d.). 8 Tips for Seniors Medication Management. Retrieved September 16, 2016, from http://www.umh.org/assisted-independent-living-blog/bid/258178/8-Tips-for-Seniors-Medication-Management
By Krisha McCoy, MS | Medically reviewed by Pat F. Bass III, MD, MPH. (2013). How to Manage Your Prescription Medications. Retrieved September 16, 2016, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/senior-health/managing-your-prescription-medication.aspx
Taking Medicines. (n.d.). Retrieved September 16, 2016, from https://nihseniorhealth.gov/takingmedicines/managingyourmedicines/01.html