Help them find a medication reminder system that works for them.
There are a number of different medication reminder systems that can be used. Your loved one may prefer using an app on their phone, setting alarms to notify them when it is time for them to take their medications, using reminder pillboxes that go off at certain times of day, or even using a calendar with monthly stickers on the days and times the pills should be taken. There are also key ring reminders that clip onto purses or keys and speak out loud when it is time for the individual to take their medicine. Some people may prefer a pillbox with alarm system built in or a wearable device (like a watch) that reminds them of their medications throughout the day.
If your loved one has trouble remembering to take all of their medication as prescribed, consider signing up for a medication reminder service.
There should be a medication list in the house that is updated often, and it should have any relevant information about when and how to take your parent’s medications.
It’s important to keep this list visible and up-to-date. In the event of an emergency (or a mistaken double dose), you will have all of the necessary information right at hand. A complete list should include not only the name, dosage and frequency of each drug but also any allergies or adverse reactions, as well as notes on how they should be taken. It is extremely important that you update this list whenever there is a change in medication, regardless of whether it is a new prescription, dosage change or discontinued medication. This may mean keeping your parent’s medical professional in the loop about changes to their medications and/or having your parent share this information with their doctor during regular doctor visits.
Learn what side effects you should be looking for and keep an eye out for them to make sure that your parents are taking their medication as prescribed.
Possibly the most important thing you can do to make sure your parents are taking their medication as prescribed is to learn what side effects (also known as adverse reactions) you should be looking for and keep an eye out for them. Some side effects require prompt medical attention, so knowing when to call your parent’s doctor or take your parent to the emergency room can also help ensure that they are taking their medication as prescribed. Common side effects of medications may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or other gastrointestinal symptoms or discomfort. Other common symptoms are headaches or other aches and pains in the body. The best way to keep track of these side effects is by having a clear record of when they occur and how often. You can write down any symptoms that you notice in a notebook or on your phone with reminders set at the right time intervals.
Talk to your parent’s doctor before making any changes to your parent’s medication regimen, including adding supplements, vitamins or other prescriptions unless it is urgent.
The first step to understanding your parent’s medication is talking with their doctor. Everything you need to know about what medications are right for your parents can be found out by talking with the doctor. Doctors have access to all lab work, test results and other information that can help them make the best decision about medication. They also have years of experience in this area, and they understand how the medications interact with each other. Often, they will also know about medications that are new or experimental that may fit your parent’s needs better than current ones. By talking with your parent’s doctor first, before making changes or adding on any drugs, vitamins or supplements, you can get a clear picture of what is best for your family member and keep them safe at the same time. If a change needs to be made quickly because something dangerous is going on, such as an allergic reaction, do not bother calling the doctor first; instead go straight to the hospital or similar facility where emergency medical attention is available at once if needed.
If your elderly loved one seems unwilling to take her medications, talk to her doctor about adjusting her routine so that she takes fewer medicines at specific times during the day instead of taking more frequently with each dose being smaller than you might expect.
When a person takes multiple medications, it’s always important to make sure that everyone is on track and taking their medication on schedule. One of the easiest ways to do this is to incorporate time-based dosing into your routine for the medicines you take. This way, you don’t have to remember dozens of different times of day and place when you should be taking your medicine, allowing yourself to focus on other tasks instead.
For example, if your elderly loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia like Lewy body disease, it can be difficult at times for her to remember when she should be taking her medications. If she takes multiple different kinds of medications and these are split into two separate pillboxes each day instead of one box with several pills in it all at once, it will help keep everything straight in her mind as well as giving her more focus throughout the day because she will not have to remember so many separate times per day when she should take something from each box.
Medication reminders and organizers are certainly a useful tool to have in the case of getting your elderly loved ones to take their medications on time. It can be very helpful in addition to other methods that you employ as well. However, no matter what you choose, it is important to remember that this is a sensitive time. With so many distractions and emotions running through both people, it can be easy for someone to forget to take a medication or take it at the wrong time. Therefore, make sure that you are always able to double-check with the individual if needed.