Seniors who manage their own medication often have their work cut out for them. Many aging adults take multiple prescriptions every day, several times per day. Keeping track of the pills older adults are supposed to take and when to take them can be difficult, even for seniors with sharp memories. Here are a few medication management tips for seniors and their caregivers.
Establish a Routine
Work together with your loved one to create an easy-to-follow routine. If your loved one takes pills at the same time every day, it will eventually become a habit. Try pairing the times he or she takes medication with other activities. For example, if your loved one takes pain medication right before lunch every day, pre-lunch hunger pains may remind him or her to take the pills.
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Maintain a Medication List and Timetable
Compile an in-depth medication list, which should include information on all the medications your loved one is currently taking, like names, purpose, dosage, and frequency. If your loved one has difficulty with medication management, create a spreadsheet with space for him or her to check off each daily dosage. If your loved one cannot read small print, create a spreadsheet with large, readable font.
Seniors shouldn’t keep their medications scattered throughout the house. While it can be tempting to keep morning pills on the bedside table, it could cause confusion in the long run. Many seniors like the convenience of day-of-the-week pill containers, but they need to keep some of their pills in the original container. Older adults may need to identify a pill by sight, and this is much easier to do if they can simply unscrew prescription bottles and look for the correct match. The storage area should also be dry and cool. While the bathroom medicine cabinet is a popular place to store prescriptions, it may be too wet for safe storage.
Set Reminders for Taking Medicines
For seniors who need extra assistance, a pill reminder is a great solution. There are many types of pill reminders, and seniors should opt for whichever one suits their needs. Your loved one can sign up for telephone reminders or text alerts or purchase pillboxes that sound an alarm when it’s time to take pills. There are also many smartphone apps that send users daily medication notifications.
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Prepare an On-the-Go Medication List
It’s important to have access to your loved one’s medication list at all times. In the event of a health emergency, an up-to-date medication list can provide emergency health personnel with lifesaving information. The travel medication list can be physical—a printout that seniors and caregivers can slip into their wallets, or digital—many medication management apps allow users to upload their current medication list.
Proper medication management is just one of the many ways aging adults can boost their overall health and wellbeing. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Dayton home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. To create a customized in-home care plan, call us at 937-353-1412.