Over 80% of adults aged 65 and over live with at least one chronic disease while 77% of the population live with at least two according to the National Council of Aging. Millions of seniors live with a health problem that requires maintaining medications to improve or maintain function. That being said, medication management can become a problem.
You may have skipped a medication or perhaps completely forgot to take one. Or maybe you got confused thinking about taking your medication over actually doing it. You are not the only one. Seniors who need to take different maintenance medications every day consequently have to face this problem.
You may not notice now, but in the long-term, missing doses can significantly affect your health. Medication adherence is vital for a treatment plan to effectively work. Fortunately, there are simple and effective techniques to remember medication intake. Our years as a provider of home healthcare in Washington has taught us the following strategies:
- Use a Pill Box. The easiest and simplest strategy is to put all of your medications in a weekly pillbox. A pillbox has seven compartments for each day. It may even be separated by the times of the day. This does not reinforce the idea of taking your medication, but it prevents you from taking double doses.
- Use Technology. Take advantage of technology. Most modern mobile phones have a system in place to set electronic reminders. Set an alarm on your phone for every schedule of medication intake. Or if you are tech-savvy, you can download a medication reminder app on the internet.
- Make it Visible. Place your medications in a visible place. Somewhere you can easily find it. Sometimes, if a thing is out of sight, it becomes out of the mind. Seeing your medications can help you remember to take it.
- Associate with a Task. Instead of taking a medication at a free-floating time, associate the act with a regular daily task. For example, take scheduled medications for the morning with breakfast or take scheduled medications for bedtime with dinner. After a while, taking your medications will become a routine just like your other day-to-day activities.
- Ask Help from Family or Friends. A healthcare team is not only made up of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. Family and friends are an integral part of it. If you live with your family, ask a family member to remind you when to take medications. If you live alone, you can have a family member or a friend text you a reminder.
Seniors often need help to remember their medications. If you have a senior loved one who needs help at home, Triplus Homecare can provide them with assistance. The services in our home care in Seattle, Washington include assisting seniors with medication management.