The team here at Hearts at Home Senior Care have brought you an article on the importance of taking the right medication on time. This article is also for family members or friends who are providing home care for a loved one.
For people with severe medical conditions, taking the correct dosage of medication at the proper times of the day is imperative for survival. Even if the condition isn’t a life threatening one, skipping doses of prescribed medications can have adverse effects on the body. Forgetting and confusing medications is a common issue among the elderly – especially in the elderly who live on their own part or full time. Statistics indicate that seniors who are in good health still take four different medications daily, on average, while those with serious conditions take about ten medications per day on average. Given the vast number of prescribed drugs to keep track of, confusion is almost assured. However, there are several simple ways that caregivers and family members with elderly loved ones can make taking their medications easier to do and also easier to remember. Here are some examples.
Medicine Alert alarms
Medicine alert alarms are pill sorter systems that come equipped with an alarm. Once activated and set for scheduled dosage times, if the medications are not taken, the alarm will sound. This alarm alerts the elder that it is time for their medication and takes the worry out of having to remember. These alarm systems are available through online retailers and at some medical supply stores. Because they can be quite expensive, this kind of a reminder might not be suitable for everyone.
Pill Sorting Boxes
Most pill sorting boxes come in a seven day variety. These boxes have a small compartment for each day of the week where medications can be sorted and stored until needed. However, there are some boxes that are designed for daily use where only the medications needed for each day are loaded into the compartments, sorted by order and time of dosage.
Caregivers and family members with an elderly loved one should always have a complete and up to date list of all medications the loved one is taking. The list should also include the dosage amount and the times of day that the medication is to be taken. This way, everyone who has contact with the loved one throughout the day can ask them if they have taken their medications and/or remind them to do so.
Clocks and Wrist Watches
If there is one time of day when an elderly person seems to forget their medication most frequently, a wrist watch or radio with an alarm may be the remedy. For instance, if it’s the late night dose they always forget to take, an alarm can be set at the correct time and it will alert them that it is time to take their medication. Although this trick is an effective one, it’s really only useful once per day due to the constraints of the clock alarms.
Request a Dedicated Home Care Medication Reminder
Home care agencies, such as ourselves, also provide medication reminder services. We can phone a friend or loved on at certain times of the day to make sure the medication has been taken.