Dealing with medication is just a part of life for many Americans, especially older Americans. Not only can it make life more comfortable, many medications have the ability to keep us healthier and even prolong our life. The trouble is, for many seniors, managing all those medications and taking them the way they are prescribed is very difficult.
If you have a parent or grandparent with multiple medications, and you want to make sure they take them, make sure you follow these tips.
Be Their Healthcare Advocate
One of the best things you can do for your loved one when helping them manage their medication is to become their healthcare advocate. That simply means you take an active role in your loved one’s healthcare, going to appointments, and maintaining contact with your loved one’s healthcare providers.
By being a healthcare advocate, you can help your loved one avoid medical negligence and medical malpractice, which can result in your loved one taking medication that can be harmful instead of helpful. It also ensures your loved one’s doctor knows all of their symptoms, as well as all of your concerns.
Don’t forget to be in contact with your loved one’s pharmacist! They can make sure your loved one doesn’t mix the wrong medications when you keep them up-to-date on all the medications they are taking.
Help Them Keep Things Organized
It’s relatively easy to keep things organized when you take just one or two pills every day. However, if you have a loved one who takes multiple pills at different times during the day, keeping everything organized can be a nightmare.
There are many ways to keep pills organized so your loved one knows which pills to take and when. Weekly pill containers are popular, and you can even find containers that are divided into morning, noon, and night for pills that have to be taken at certain times.
If your loved one doesn’t want to deal with those ugly, and sometimes embarrassing, pill containers, you can also ask their pharmacist to create convenient pill packets for each day. If they aren’t taking too many medicines, you can simply help them keep their pill bottles organized in a specific place in their medicine cabinet.
Remind Your Loved One to Take Their Pills
Just because you keep things organized doesn’t mean your loved one is going to take their pills like they should! If they still struggle to take their medication, you should look for ways to remind them on a daily basis. A few ideas include:
- Giving them a call or sending a text when it’s time to take their meds
- Having them use a timed medication dispenser
- Setting alarms to go off when it’s time to take their medication
- Pairing medication with daily activities, like breakfast or while brushing teeth
Track the Medication They Are Taking
Helping your loved one take their medication by sending them reminders is important, but it is equally as important to know exactly what pills your loved one takes, and when they are supposed to take them.
This is extremely important because the pills your loved one takes on a regular basis can change. With one trip to the doctor’s office or a call to the nurse, they may switch to a new medication, stop taking a medication altogether, or be prescribed a different dosage. It’s important to keep track of these changes by keeping a running list of your loved one’s medications to ensure they aren’t interacting and they are effective.
Consider a Professional Caregiver
Managing a loved one’s medication can be a surprisingly difficult job. If you’re having trouble keeping track of all their medications or if you can’t seem to get your loved one to take their medication like they are supposed to, you may want to consider a professional caregiver.
A professional caregiver can stop by the house each and every day to make sure your loved one is taking their medication like they are supposed to. They can also help your loved one with other things too, like meal preparation, laundry, and more, when and if your loved one needs the extra help.
The right medication can greatly increase your loved one’s quality of life, but only if it’s managed and taken properly. With these tips, you can make sure the medication your loved one takes is taken properly, enabling you to enjoy your relationship with them for many years to come.