Medication Management: Easy tips for helping seniors remember to take their medications
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it’s especially important that seniors or their caregivers pay special attention to the elderly’s intake of medications. That’s because as people age, they are more likely to use a multitude of medicines and/or supplements — and that can lead to not only harmful side effects but also interactions and misuse. Fellowship Square offers three simple tips to help seniors and their caregivers with medication management.
Follow Doctor’s Orders —
If prescribed a medication by a trusted physician, it’s also important to heed that doctor’s advice. Meaning, taking the medication as prescribed. It’s important that seniors follow the instructions when it comes to dosing as well as how to take their medication (with food or liquids, for example). Seniors also should use only the medication prescribed to them — and not someone else. Prescriptions designed for one person’s health issues may not be suitable for another’s. According to an article on the FDA website, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributes misuse of medication for 125,000 deaths every year in the United States. It’s also important to complete a prescription — for example, an antibiotic for five days should be taken all five days, even if the symptoms seem to dissipate by day three.
Set a Reminder —
Setting a daily alarm when it’s time to take prescribed medication is a good way to help seniors keep track of whether they’ve taken their medication and to indeed remind them to take it. To help make taking daily medication a habit, seniors and their caregivers can try piggybacking it to another already well-established daily habit such as brushing their teeth in the morning or at night, or when having lunch. This is especially important for medications that can create an imbalance if skipped or doubled up on any particular day.
Use a Pillbox… but with Tech —
Pillboxes have long been a method to help seniors sort and remember to take specific pills on specific days. But today’s pillboxes have gone high-tech! Utilizing technology can help seniors remember which pills to take and when (and also to remind them when they have already taken medications so they don’t accidentally double dose). Some smart pill dispensers, such as Hero, can dispense multiple medications several times a day and even notify the user when they are running low on their pills so they can get a refill before they run out. Syncing these dispensers to seniors or their caregiver's smartphone devices can also help easily manage medications.
Fellowship Square encourages seniors and their caregivers to check out all the smart ways to manage medications. Technology in this area has come a long way in making proper medication distribution simple and streamlined.