Older adults are the ones most likely to need prescription medications. Since they have various chronic ailments and symptoms to manage, they might also need to keep track of more than one kind of medicine. Medication management is vital; a wrong or missed dose can harm a patient. If you’re a caregiver for a loved one, here are some things you could do to help your patient keep up with their medication calendar.
Use a pill dispenser or pillbox
Medical regimens sound straightforward when coming from a doctor or pharmacist. However, they can be a little confusing when it’s your turn to follow the schedule at home. Many people think they don’t need a pillbox when they start a medical regimen. However, it’s one of the simplest ways for you to keep track of your medicine.
There are various sizes, colors, and types of pillboxes. If you’re not sure which one is best for you, consult a medical professional. There are even specialized electronic ones that you can program to dispense pills at a scheduled time. These are worth investing in, especially if you are a busy person with other responsibilities.
Stay on track using a medication tracker app
Using apps and digital logs is another way of reminding yourself of a patient’s pill schedule. Reminder devices allow you to perform other duties without constantly worrying if your patient had skipped a dose. Depending on the app, you could also store your prescription history and access your patient’s medication data on the cloud.
Get your medication from a single pharmacy
Have all your prescriptions filled at one pharmacy. Pharmacists today have digital records of a patient’s prescriptions, making it more convenient if you get all your medicine from one place. Although you can transfer prescriptions between places, the information could get lost or delayed when you do. You could also have delays in refills.
Store and take medication as recommended
Medications often have detailed instructions for use and storage. Carefully note the instructions for all the patient’s medicine. Some need to be refrigerated or stored in cool, dry places.
Go over the medication instructions and take the recommended amount at the right time. Some pills or syrups must be taken after meals, while others need the patient to have an empty stomach.
Know as well the contingency plans for a skipped dose. Does the patient make up for it, or do they just take the next dose? Ask your medical professional before starting. Finally, don’t discontinue or modify a prescription. You might think that the patient is getting better (and they might), but changing or stopping the course will not help them. It might even cause them to become resistant to that particular medicine, which could cause even more issues in the future.
Check with your doctor frequently
Update your healthcare provider on the progress of the patient. Ask them if your loved one still needs to take all the drugs prescribed or if he can discontinue certain ones. Also, clarify if your patient’s symptoms are typical side effects or if they are cause for concern.
Completing a course of medication can be tricky, especially for older people or those who have to take multiple pills at once. Pill medication will be easier if you use techniques like the ones above or enlist the help of a family member who can monitor your progress.
Be confident that you or your loved ones are getting the treatment you need with MedManage. This medication tracker app allows you to create a list of prescriptions, alerts for when to take medicine, and a log monitoring your progress. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play, or get in touch with us for more details.