As many as 50% of medications prescribed are not taken as directed. Many people simply forget to take their medications. Remembering what medication, you took and when you took it can be a challenge, especially if you have several prescriptions that must be taken on different schedules. This situation is exacerbated by conditions which cause cognitive decline, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Consider these five tips to stay on track with your loved one’s medication schedule to get the best results:
Use Technology to Help
Technology is all around us so why not take advantage of it for everyday things such as medication reminders? If you have a mobile device, you can easily set up a recurring alarm or notification that can assist in reminding you when it’s time to take your medication. You can even download a free medication reminder app which will keep things organized.
Create a Routine
Routines are key to forming habits that you can remember. Try to combine your medication time with something that you do regularly each and every day. For instance, take your medications before you brush your teeth, or every evening when Wheel of Fortune comes on. When your medication schedule is tied to another activity, it becomes part of your everyday routine just like making the bed or walking the dog.
Use a Pill Box
A pill box (also called a pill organizer) is a simple way to keep your medicine organized. If you forget whether you’ve taken your dose for the day you can simply check to see whether the pill slot for that day is empty or not. Some pill boxes also come with built-in timers and other features. Depending on the complexity of your medicine schedule, you can purchase a simple 7-slot pill box (one for each day of the week), or more complex organizers with slots for morning, afternoon, evening, and bed.
Keep them Visible
Remember, out of sight generally means out of mind. Try to pick a spot to keep your pills in so that they are visible and easy for you to notice. That way anytime you walk by you’ll have them there to remind you.
What’s family for if not for reminding us to do things we often forget? You can get the assistance of a loved one or family member. They can give you a quick call each day, or simply send you a text just to double check. Your personal care manager can also review and administer medications to ensure you take the correct dosage at the right time.
When you forget, or get confused about whether or not you’ve taken your daily dose of medication, it can prevent you getting the best results from the medicine as prescribed by your doctor. It also be dangerous if the medication is essential to your health or if you are taking double doses out of forgetfulness. If you have any questions about taking medication or would like to learn more about how your personal care manager or in-home caregiver can assist, call Qualicare Family Homecare at 613.366.2899.