#1: Tips For Remembering
It seems that the older we get, the more pills we take. Remembering to take them, and to take them on time, can challenge even the sharpest mind.
If your loved one has occasional memory lapses, getting into a good routine for taking medications might be all that’s necessary to stick with the doctor’s recommendations. Some suggestions:
- Keep pills in sight. Good places might include the kitchen table or counter, or a bureau top. Keep them away from direct sunlight by a window or a steamy room, such as a bathroom.
- Link with other habits. Work with your loved one to associate pill-taking time with other routines, such as morning coffee or brushing teeth.
- Use a pill box. Pill boxes organize daily doses for a week. The simplest have seven compartments. Others have two or three compartments per day for am/pm doses.
- Add an alarm. Consider a pill box or a wristwatch with an alarm. Or program your loved one’s cell phone to ring a specific tone when it’s time to take a pill.
More active support may be necessary if your loved one has ongoing memory issues. Among the options available:
- Automated pill dispenser. These dispensers sound an alarm and open a dispensing drawer when it is time to take a pill. Some can notify you if a dose is skipped. Check the federal government’s database of available products.
- Telephone reminder. There are special, national services you can sign up for, where, for a monthly fee, your loved one receives timed, daily phone calls and an automated message to take his or her medications. Some services will notify you if the phone is not answered.
- Email or text message. MyMedSchedule is a no-cost, online service that provides email or text reminders. Or check online for smart phone medication apps.
- Personal medical alert. Many home-based medical alert systems include an optional medication reminder service.