One of the greatest challenges in caring for a senior loved one is making sure the correct medications are taken at the correct time. Home health aides can set up pill boxes every week to help with medication management, but what do you do when you don’t have outside help? It’s time to get the whole family on board for this daily job of managing medications at home.
Getting Everyone on Board
Many families will designate one child as a senior’s primary caregiver, either officially or by default. If you are that designated caregiver, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help, particularly on tasks that require daily oversight — such as administering medications. Sit down with your siblings and talk with them about the importance of not only setting up a pill box, but also following through to make sure your senior loved one is taking his pills at the right time.
It’s also a good idea to go through all your loved one’s pill bottles with your siblings, familiarizing them with what each medication does and how it should be taken — with or without food, for example. Make sure they understand the potential adverse side effects of each, especially when not taken properly.
The Right Dose at the Right Time
Set up medication reminders for parents with sticky notes to help them remember the right time to take each pill. Encourage seniors to keep their medications in a place where they will see them frequently as a reminder, such as the dining room table. It may not make the most elegant centerpiece, but it will aid in remembering medications at meal times, which is when they are most commonly taken.
One person in the family can set up a pill box, but when it comes to daily medication checks, spread out the duties among your siblings. Whether it’s an in-person visit or a phone call to follow up, checking in is a great safety feature in general as well as for medications. That way, if your loved one falls, someone can find her quickly.
Going High Tech
Of course, if all this seems like too much work for your family, you can always invest in some great technology to make life easier and keep your loved one safe. Most people are aware of personal medical alert devices, which can alert family and emergency personnel of falls, but do you know about the benefits of automatic medication dispensers? These devices provide audio reminders to dispense medications at pre-scheduled times.
In addition to their line of personal medical alert devices, Philips Lifeline offers automated medication dispensing services that support your loved one in taking their pills at the pre-scheduled times. Now you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your loved one’s medication adhrence is being managed even without daily intervention from you and your siblings.
With less time spent following up on medication management, you can focus on the truly important things — like socializing and spending quality time together.