Caring for a loved one means juggling many tasks, one of the most important being medication management. Forgetting to take medicine or taking it incorrectly can not only make a caregiver’s job more complicated, but can cause serious health issues in your loved one.
If you do not live with your aging relative, they may need some help keeping track of when to take any medications or vitamins. Here are some tips for helping your loved one manage their medications:
How to Make Sure Someone Takes Their Medication
- Do your research
- Create a medication checklist
- Use pillboxes
- Coordinate medications with daily activities
- Set reminder alarms
- Call to check-in
Do Your Research
Educate yourself about what is being taken and why.
If your loved one is taking many medications, get them all filled at the same pharmacy. The pharmacy keeps records of everything taken and will catch any potential negative interactions, giving you peace of mind.
Make a list of all prescriptions, when they should be taken, and how. Some medications need to be taken with food, and others on an empty stomach or with a full glass of water. Make note of all these specifications and post it somewhere that your loved one and any caregivers can see.
Create a Medication Checklist
A checklist left near where medication is taken can help you and your loved one keep track of what has been taken already. This ensures that they are not taking too much or forgetting altogether.
Pillboxes can be a huge help as you can lay out a week’s worth of doses at a time. Multiple pillboxes may be needed to separate by time of day (morning, afternoon, evening). This takes the guesswork out of whether a certain prescription was taken or not. If it’s not there, then it has been taken!
Make sure your loved one knows what each medication is for, and when and how to take it.
Coordinate Medications with Daily Activities
Tying medications with daily routines such as eating, going to bed, or when a favorite show comes on forms a habit. If you decide to go this route, just make sure that whatever activity you tie the medication to follows the rules about how to take it. For example, if a medication needs to be taken in the morning with a meal, you can coordinate it with your loved one’s breakfast.
Set Reminder Alarms
If your elder relative is prone to forgetfulness because of dementia or Alzheimer’s, set alarms throughout the day to help them keep track of when to take medications.
Depending on what you feel will be most effective, set an alarm on your loved one’s watch, clock, phone, or through their home assistant (i.e. Google Home or Amazon Alexa) if they have it. Be sure that any alarm you set clearly notes what medication needs to be taken to avoid confusion.
Call to Check in
While you are setting alarms for your loved one, set them up for yourself as well. A quick call to check-in goes a long way in making sure that your loved one does not get sidetracked, and actually takes their meds. You will have peace of mind, and they get the joy of a conversation with you!
Nursing Home Alternatives in Maryland
Even with so many precautions and reminders, medication may not be taken correctly. Elder relatives with memory issues can get sidetracked or be confused about what day it is. In such cases, the best way to ensure that medicine is taken is to have a caregiver there to administer all medications appropriately.
The licensed, highly trained staff at Advanced Nursing & Home Support are committed to providing compassionate in-home care to our clients. Every client is different, which is why our professional staff evaluates your loved one’s specific needs and develops a custom care plan.