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Medication Management Tips and Tools for Caregivers

Staying on track with medication can be tough for older adults to do. Many seniors take several different types of medicine each day, making it harder to safely manage them all. In fact, research shows 41% of seniors take five or more medications every day. With numbers like that, it’s easy to see why there might be some difficulties.

Common medication struggles older adults experience include:

  • Forgetting to take a prescription on time
  • Difficulty reading small print on a label
  • Unintentionally taking too much.

These problems can all add up to big trouble for seniors.

Medication errors are a leading reason why older adults end up in the emergency room. According to the Institute of Medicine, 770,000 adults are sent to the hospital each year because of a mistake with their medication.

One of the best ways to help an aging parent or other senior loved one stay safely on track is with the use of a reminder system.

5 Best Medication Reminders

  1. Pill organizer: A simple plastic pill organizer that has each day of the week labeled is quick and easy to set up. Many come with am and pm containers for every day, and family members can refill the box each week. With this system, older adults don’t have to worry about refilling prescriptions or which medication to take and when. Every dosage is planned ahead and easy to understand.
  2. Reminder calls: If a senior is a little forgetful, you can set up a prescription pill container for them and then make a reminder call when it is time to take their medication. While it can be a bit time-consuming, it is a low-tech method for keeping a loved one on track.
  3. Wireless pill dispensers: Electronic pill dispensers can sound an alert at dosage time. Some will even text or call a family contact person if the senior misses a dose. Most of these systems work off wireless technology to make it safer and more convenient.
  4. Medication apps: If the senior is tech savvy, there are smart phone apps you can download to remind them to take their medicine. Dosecast and Care4Today are two to explore.
  5. Pharmacy blister packs: Most pharmacies can set up their older clients’ medications in what is known as a punch card or blister pack. It’s easy: pills are separated by day and dosage time, and when it is time to take a dose, the senior only has to push the pills through the back of the pack.

Medication Management at HarborChase

Most seniors who move to an assisted living community need a little extra help managing their medications. It’s one of our most requested services. We’ll be happy to share the details of our medication management program when you visit.

Call the HarborChase community nearest you to schedule a tour today!