As our parents age, we often become concerned that they aren’t able to manage simple things, like remembering to take their medications. Sometimes remembering to take medications is especially hard if our loved one has chronic health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure and takes several medications each day. What can we do when we are concerned that our parents are forgetting to take their medications?
An easy first step is a trip to the physician to make sure that the medications our parents have are the ones they need to take. When going with our parents to see their physician, be sure to take all the medications in their original prescription container for review by the physician. Ask the physician if all the medications are necessary and also if it’s possible to schedule them to be taken no more than twice per day. Simplifying how many times each day medications have to be taken will help streamline the process.
After the medications are reviewed and streamlined as much as possible, invest in a medication organizer. These are inexpensive and available at most drug stores. Fill the organizer with the medications for the appropriate time of day and familiarize your parents with how to use them. Using the organizer shows at a glance whether medications have been taken and make keeping up with the correct dose much easier. When looking for an organizer, make sure to obtain one that your parents can easily open and close and make sure that the dose times correspond to the dose times on the prescriptions. For the first few days using the organizer, a reminder phone call may also be helpful.
If medication organizers, phone call reminders and other steps have failed, it may be time to consider an assisted living community. Assisted living communities’ help individuals remember to take their medications at the time and correct dose ordered by their physician. They also monitor individuals for any problems with medications and notify the physician and family if there is a problem. This is especially important if the individual has chronic health problems.
For more information, visit GreatOaksManagement.com!