When taking care of loved ones, especially the elderly, one of the main tasks is to help them remember to take their medications. In worst-case scenarios, a timely medication reminder can mean the difference between life and death.
It may sound stressful and exhausting; however, with a few simple measures and gadgets, you can make sure that both you and your senior loved ones take their prescribed medications correctly and on time.
Helping Loved Ones Remember Medication Time
1. List All Medications
To begin, make a list of all prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and supplements your loved ones are taking. This helps everyone remember the prescriptions and comes in handy to first responders during medical emergencies. This also helps in ruling out harmful fatal drug interactions.
2. Keep Medicines In Sight
Searching for medicines every day in a cluttered drawer or cabinet can become exhausting and irritating, let alone remembering to take them!
Always place medicines in a clearly visible and easily accessible and detectable place to help trigger your loved one’s memory. A pillbox can be beneficial in this regard, especially for medicines that can be removed from their original packaging.
3. Set a Routine
Remembering to take multiple medications becomes very easy if you establish a routine. Make taking daily pills and supplements a part of your loved one’s morning or bedtime routine (as per the medication’s prescribed time). For instance, they could take their medicines with breakfast, or after brushing their teeth before bedtime.
4. Set an Alarm
Setting alarms is also a useful and instant way to help loved ones remember to take their medication. The Best Day Clock by American Lifetime is a very beneficial purchase with regards to this. It is suitable for the visually impaired, has a talking feature that reads out the time and period (before dawn, morning, evening, night), and a multi-functioning alarm system – all handy features for setting prescription reminders.
Helping Caregivers Remember Medication Time
1. Use a Wearable Reminder Device
A handy and straightforward reminder device, like a smart watch can help you keep track of your loved one’s prescription timings and remind them if they forgot or missed their reminder. If you’re into fitness, some personal fitness watches also serve as digital reminders.
2. Use a Mobile App
Put your smartphone to good use and try using a medication management mobile app. Some reminder apps not only help you remember medication times but also give you information about the medicine.
Advanced apps also allow you to store industry images of medicines – if feasible, ask your loved one to send you a picture of the medication they’re taking so you can compare it to the image in the app and ensure they’re taking the correct medicine and dosage.
3. Hire Professional Help
For loved ones who are cognitively impaired or bed-ridden, it is best to hire a CNA (certified nurse aide) or an HHA (home health aide) to remind them to take their medication or administer it themselves. They can monitor and report any medication problems, and can also be authorized to take care of prescription refills.