For some people, the older they get, the more prescription medications, supplements, etc. they end up taking. Unfortunately, as we age, we tend to forget more than when we were younger. So, taking medications on a regular basis can be problematic some days. You know you’re supposed to take it, you even see it sitting on the counter, you think to yourself, “Oh yeah that’s right, I have to take that.”… and then you forget. This is typical. But it’s manageable. A few reminders here and there and you will be on your way.
If you have an aging loved one who needs a bit of help now and then taking their medication, or understanding why they take it, you could likely use a bit of advice.
In the interest of helping seniors with their medications, there are two approaches to utilize.
Help Them Understand
Helping your loved one understand the importance of their medications may assist them in remembering to take them. Here’s how to help them understand:
- Before you try to help your loved one understand their meds, consider how much information you think they’ll be able to process. Then make sure they understand the specifics of their meds and whether they feel they have any reason not to take them (social concerns, religious beliefs, etc.).
- Ask them if they feel the effects of the medication working? Do they know what to look for?
- Ask your loved one what their medications are supposed to do. Why do they take them?
- Does your loved one know precisely how to take their medications (with water, with food, at night, etc.)?
Help Them With Actually Taking Meds
As suggested earlier, sometimes you just forget to take your medication. Here are some ways you can help your loved one take their meds:
- Make sure they don’t have any questions about the medications. Talk to their doctor if they do.
- If they miss a dose, do they know what to do? At a certain point in time, it’s best to skip the dose. But if it’s close to the time they should have taken it, they can take it late (in most cases).
- Together with your loved one, shop for a pillbox to help them remember which medications to take and when.
- Help them create and then fill out a personalized one-page record for their medications. They can keep this somewhere handy (maybe taped to the inside of a cabinet door above their medications).
- As much as possible, decrease dosing times. Some people may prefer to spread their medications out over the course of a day. But that tends to lead to forgotten doses.
We All Need a Little Help Now and Then
Just because your loved one needs a reminder now and then concerning their meds doesn’t mean they can’t live independently. That said, however, if they’re also having trouble with the execution of daily activities and/or are experiencing cognitive issues, it may be time to look into either our Assisted Living program or our Memory Care plan.
If you’d like to talk about the sale or lease of one of our residences, please phone 228-206-0138. Any other questions can be directed to someone at 228-702-0142. We also have a convenient online form you can use to start a conversation.
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