Nearly 90 percent of older adults take at least one prescription medication a day. While critically important for senior health, many elderly individuals forget to take their medicines on a regular basis. It can be difficult to remember what and how many medications need to be taken daily. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve your medication management in order to prevent associated health problems.
Create a Medication List
If you’re taking multiple medications, it’s easy to forget to take one. Create a list of all the medications you are currently taking, including brand names and generic names. You’ll also want to write down the dosages prescribed, the dosing frequency, and the reason for taking the medication.
Notify Your Doctor
Each time you visit your doctor, bring along your list of current medications or the medications themselves. In addition to any prescription medications you’re taking, you’ll want to notify your doctor of any herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications you may be taking. This will help prevent any drug interactions or adverse side effects.
Set Medication Reminders
Most prescribed medications require that you take them at a designated time each day, such as in the morning or with a meal. Set an alarm to remind you to take your medications or have a friend or family member remind you. You’ll also want to keep track of your prescription refill dates. Write the refill dates on a calendar so that you can refer back to it when your prescription is running low.
Many seniors find success with daily medication reminder boxes or other dispensers. These containers are typically categorized by the day of the week to remind you to take your pills each day. Some of these containers also have separate AM and PM sections for individuals who must take medicines in the morning and evening. These containers are especially great for medication management.
Have Your Medications Delivered
Many seniors no longer drive, making it difficult to get to and from the pharmacy. To ensure that you have your prescription when you need it, make arrangements to have your medications delivered. Most pharmacies have delivery options that may include having your prescription dropped off to your home by an employee or via mail.
Mismanaged medications can result in new health problems or the worsening of existing conditions. In fact, medicine mistakes send an estimated 770,000 individuals to the emergency room each year. By establishing some simple preventative measures, you can improve your medication management and maintain your health.
Got any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!