Did you know that older folks have to juggle an average of seven separate medications to be taken daily?
And, it’s not just the elderly that find managing medication difficult. There’s so much to keep track of for people with chronic illnesses and other disorders that require constant observation. Medication management doesn’t have to be an added burden.
Suppose you or a loved one has been taking medication irregularly. No worries. Read on for our many strategies that you can implement into your daily routine. This will help you keep your medication management working like clockwork.
Why Is Managing Medication So Difficult?
The first step towards fixing a problem is understanding why it’s a problem in the first place.
There are a variety of reasons why older people may take their medicine improperly. Having a memory problem makes it hard to remember both when and how to take your medication.
Then, doctors’ advice is either incomplete or incorrect, a lack of confidence in the medicine’s efficacy, and a desire to boost efficacy by taking more medication than is recommended.
Moreover, when hard-hitting medication, some people are worried about managing their medication’s side effects.
Medication Management 101: How to Manage Your Medications
The very first step to managing your medication is gathering as much information as possible.
Start by encouraging your loved one (or yourself) to speak with their doctor about any parts of the medicine that they are unsure about, such as keeping it or the possible adverse effects.
Ensure that the pharmacist clearly writes the condition that the medication is intended to treat on each pillbox. This will help your loved one’s memory and allow a caretaker to watch the issue closely. On subsequent visits, make sure they inquire about any changes in their medicine.
Once you have this information down, you’ll want to take the following steps.
Write a List
To ensure that this information is readily accessible when needed, compile all of the medicines’ essential data into a single document, which should include the following:
- Your dosage
- Time and frequency of dosing
- Medication is available in both generic and brand names.
- The reason for the medication
- How often will a fresh batch be required?
- Both your loved one and their carer should have access to this list. You can show it to them as a chart or a calendar, or you can set up recurring reminders on any of their devices.
- Medication type and mode of administration
Depending on your type of medication, you might want to add additional data points to what we’ve already covered.
Making Administering Medication a Habit
you may use special pillboxes (also known as dosette boxes) to keep all of your medicines in one place, labeled for morning, midday, or nighttime use.
If your loved one has a cognitive disease like dementia, their pharmacist should create a blister pack that accomplishes the same thing.
This is the preferable approach since it eliminates the possibility of human mistakes. Many care organizations will be unable to give medicines from a dosette box prepared by you or a loved one but will handle prescriptions from a pharmacy-made blister pack.
Another alternative is automatic dispensers, with certain models alerting friends or family members if your loved one hasn’t taken their medicine.
Encourage your loved ones to keep their medication in the original box (complete with pharmacy label) to help them remember when and how to take each type of medication.
Setting up Medication Reminders
It can be not very clear to take multiple medications at different times of the day. It’s possible that you’ll forget to take your medicine or that you’ll forget when you need to take it. Here are a few pointers that may be useful:
You may use your phone or other gadgets to set alarms or put reminders on your calendar to remind you to take or reorder your medicine.
You can purchase pill organizers or boxes to help you remember to take your medication on time. They contain sections for the days of the week and the hours of the day. Automatic pill dispensers also release the appropriate amount of pills at the appropriate moment.
To assist you in remembering, you may integrate taking medicine with your routine. You could take it after cleaning your teeth, for example.
Take Advantage of Technological Assistance
Telecare devices can remind you when it’s time to take your medication and deliver the correct dose. If you forget to take your medicine, some may notify an assistance center.
Make sure you have enough medication on hand at all times, especially on weekends and holidays. If you have many repeat prescriptions, see if your doctor and pharmacist have an Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).
You can pick up your prescription at a local pharmacy using this method. Because the prescription is delivered electronically, you won’t have to see your doctor get it. You may be able to have your medicine delivered right to your door.
Get Advice From Your Pharmacist
You’ll want to request a review of your medication usage. If you’re taking several medications and have a long-term illness, your pharmacist should be able to provide you with a free medication review.
Also, you can always ask whether you can get a prescription discount. You’d be surprised at the wealth of options and savings you can get if you only knew they existed.
They’ll go through all of your medications with you and, if required, provide feedback to your primary care physician so that they may take action.
Ready to Give Your Medical Management a Makeover?
Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember that you’re not the only one who’s having trouble with managing medication.
Hopefully, our explainer has shed some light on the different ways you can simplify your medication processes without costing you an arm and a leg.
And, if you enjoyed our article, you’ll want to check out our additional tips and advice. All of them will be available in our health section.