For many people as they age, taking medication becomes a part of their daily routines. This is especially true for seniors. Some older people take multiple medications every day and one potential hazard for them is that mix-ups can happen and be detrimental to their health and safety.
Let’s take a look at 6 great ways to help the senior in your life stay organized with their medications.
Maintain a Current Medication List
The first step in helping an older loved one with their medication is to make a list of all the drugs they are currently taking. Write down the name of the medication, the dosage, when it must be taken, and the doctor who prescribed it. Having an up to date list of your loved one’s medication is a great way to ensure that you have a full understanding of their current prescription drug needs.
Get Rid of All Old Medication
Your loved one might have been prescribed a medication for a specific purpose or condition that no longer needs to be treated. Or their doctor tried a drug that didn’t work well, so they choose an alternative one to use.
Whatever the case may be, make sure that any medication that your loved one no longer takes or needs is removed from their home. While it is tempting to want to just dispose of old drugs by flushing, or throwing them in the garbage, this is not advisable.
The best way is to contact your local pharmacy and see what medication disposal resources are available where you live. In some cities, the local police department has drop boxes where unused medication can be disposed of safely.
Put All Medication in One Place
Having bottles of medication located in various places around the home such as the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom is never a good idea, and usually leads to confusion for the senior taking them. Make an agreement with your loved one that they will keep all of their medicine in one central location in the house. Doing this will make retrieval of their prescriptions much easier.
Find a Community in your area
No matter your need, we have the right community for you. Get started finding the perfect new home for you or your loved one today!
Purchase a Daily Pill Dispenser
The easier it is for a senior to take their medication every day, the better. Go to your nearest pharmacy and purchase a color coded pill organizer. Each week, you can help your loved one fill up each day’s compartment with needed medication.
Most pill organizers have a section for AM and PM medications that is color coded to represent day or night time. There are many of these products on the market today, with ones that feature 2 or 4 compartments for each day’s needs.
Create a Reminder & Tracking System
Figure out the best way to remind your loved one when it is time to take their medicine each day. Whether that be an alarm on a cell phone or a friendly call from you, reminders can go a long way towards preventing missed medication situations.
In addition, work out a tracking system that is easy to use, so that once your loved one takes their medication, they can easily document it on paper that it was done. This kind of tracking system is also a great way for family members to ensure that medication is being taken consistently.
Communicate & Have Regular Check Ins
One of the most important things to do with regard to helping an older loved one with medication management is to frequently communicate with them about it. Talk to your loved one about how their daily medication routine is going, and see if they are having any difficulties with it. Being proactive will prevent any issues from becoming big problems down the road.
What if More Help is Needed?
Should the time come when your older loved one can no longer live safely at home, the dedicated team of caring professionals at Frontier is here to answer any questions you might have.
We have helped many families find a senior living community for their loved one that fully meets their unique needs. If you would like more information about our services, we invite you to visit one of our properties, take a tour and speak with our compassionate and friendly staff.