Many seniors and older adults take multiple medications throughout the day — if this is a new part of your routine, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Studies have shown that 87% of seniors take at least one prescription drug, with 36% taking five or more. In this article, we’ll offer some helpful information on medication management, storage, organization, and more.
Read the Medication Instructions
Before you begin taking any medication, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, be sure to read the medication instructions and consult with your doctor. You need to know when to take them, if you should take them with a meal, where to store them, and other medications they can negatively interact with. If you’re taking several medications, that can be a lot of information. Consider writing down the most important information on a “cheat card” that you keep with you or in your medicine cabinet, for instance. This can help you remember the specifics of different medications.
Find the Best Organization Method for You
Find an organization method that works for you! This can make taking multiple daily medications much easier to manage. If you don’t have trouble remembering which pills you need to take throughout the day, even keeping the individual bottles in their own cabinet can be helpful for organization. Alternatively, look into various pill cases. This one from Apex, for instance, has 28 compartments — 4 times a day for 7 days a week. Putting your medications and supplements in a case like this can serve as a reminder of what you need to take and when.
Set a Reminder
If you have trouble remembering what times of the day you need to be taking certain medications, set a reminder on a smartphone or home device. Regular alarms can serve as a helpful reminder to take your medication. If you don’t have a smartphone, reminders in a day planner or notebook can help you keep track of everything, as well.
Take Notes in One, Single Place
Medications often interact with each other or come with side effects. If you’re working with your doctor to track side effects and how different medicines affect your body, it can help to take notes about how you feel. This can be a very helpful resource for your doctor that can help them determine if you need to change doses or switch medicines altogether.
As It Gets Harder to Manage, Ask for Help
As you get older, it can be harder to remember which medications to take when, how much you’re supposed to take, and what side effects you’re having. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Usually, this requires teamwork between you and your doctor to figure out a strategy that works for you. Consider asking a family member (preferably someone who lives with you) to help you manage all of your different medications if necessary.
At Copeland Oaks, we pride ourselves on our continuity of care. Residents at Copeland are often active older adults — and they never need to worry about being moved to a different facility because their health and care needs have changed. We want you to enjoy your retirement, worry-free.
For more information, contact us today, or click here to learn more about the Copeland Life Care Fund.