Maintaining Medication – Easy ways to help seniors manage their prescriptions
When it comes to helping seniors stay healthy, keeping up with the medications prescribed by their doctors is essential. Sometimes even a day or two with a missed medication (or accidentally doubling up) can interfere with its ability to work properly and can cause an imbalance. Tracking medications can get a little tricky as seniors age — if their memories aren’t as sharp as they used to be or if they are experiencing dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Fellowship Square offers the following tips for managing medications.
Make a List —
Seniors or their caregivers should make a list of what medications need to be taken, at what time and in what amount. This list should be placed in a clear and visible place that the senior can’t miss — a bathroom mirror or right on the nightstand. A list could be made on a little whiteboard with the medications and details in permanent marker and spaces for the senior to check off when they’ve taken each medication in erasable marker.
Connect the Dots —
Helping seniors remember their medication can be simplified by piggybacking it with other daily activities such as brushing their teeth, eating breakfast or getting dressed. While it seems like a simple thing, associating taking medications with another chore the senior is already used to will actually make it easier to remember.
Keep Them in Plain Sight —
Out of sight, out of mind rings true for many people, not just seniors! So keeping medications right by that aforementioned list on a bathroom or kitchen counter or bedside nightstand can serve as a visual reminder for seniors to take their medicine!
Use an Automatic Pill Dispenser or App —
Pill boxes have come a long way! Today’s automatic versions actually set off alarms (or flashing lights) and dispense the proper medication at a set time. Some can even be programmed to contact family in the case that alarms go unanswered by the senior. As with most things, “there’s an app for that,” so smart phone savvy seniors can have reminders to take their medicines at the tip of their fingertips.
Get Some Help —
Seniors that are experiencing dementia and/or Alzheimer’s Disease may no longer have the capacity to manage and keep track of their medications on their own, despite the tips above. In this case, it may be time for family members to step in to help with daily reminder calls or a stop by to distribute medications. If this isn’t an option, a home health aide can monitor medication along with help the senior with other necessary daily activities — or it may be time to seek assisted living.
Fellowship Square understands the importance of proper use of prescriptions medications, and sometimes as seniors age, this can become an overwhelming task. However, with a little help from the tips above, medication management can be less stressful for seniors and loved ones alike.