As we age, many of us are prescribed medications for various health issues. With each new prescription, medication management for seniors becomes increasingly important. Each year in the United States, more than a third of all seniors over age 65 have at least one unwanted reaction that results from a prescription medication, according to the American Geriatrics Society. Many of these reactions are caused by missed doses and doubled doses.
To prevent these problems, it’s a good idea to create a system that will help you effectively manage medication schedules. There are a number of ways to track your prescriptions, and you should choose the option that works best for you. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Use a pill box to organize your medications weekly. If necessary, use separate boxes for morning and evening medications. Label these boxes clearly. In order to accurately refill these boxes each week, keep a chart that details your current medications. The National Institutes of Health provides a free template that you can print out and use.
- Make taking your prescriptions a part of your regular routine. Take them before you brush your teeth or right before you shower every day. Pick a time that works for you, and stick to it.
- Remind yourself by placing sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, or other places where you look frequently. If you have a hard time remembering if you’ve already taken your medications each day, mark off the day on a calendar after you take them.
- Set an alarm as a reminder. You can use your watch, an alarm clock, or your telephone alarm to sound when it is time to take your medications.
- If you need extra assistance, consider a device such as an alarmed medication reminder or the Philips Monitored Automatic Medication Dispenser. Some medical alert devices like these can provide prompts for doctor’s appointments or daily reminders to aid medication management for seniors.
Taking your prescriptions properly plays a major role in staying as healthy as possible. If you forget to take your medications on time or have a hard time recalling whether you’ve taken them, a structured system will help you remember. There are many effective methods you can use for medication management for seniors. Choosing a method that works for you can help keep you well and thriving.