One of the responsibilities that many family caregivers find takes a great deal of their time is organizing medications for their older family member. Many older adults take multiple medications on a daily basis. And, they may not take them all at the same time each day. Instead, there may be some they take in the morning, others at noon, and some at night. Keeping all of that straight can be difficult and errors can cause serious problems. If you’re a family caregiver struggling to manage a senior’s medicines, trying the tips below may help.
Use a Pill Organizer
A pill organizer is a plastic box with compartments for the pills the senior takes each day. They come in a variety of kinds, some with just one compartment for each day of the week. Others have two or three compartments per day. Once the caregiver places the proper pills in the organizer for each day and time of day, many older adults can take their pills on their own. An advantage of pill organizers is that older adults can easily see if they have already taken their medications for the day, so they aren’t as likely to take a double dose because of forgetting. However, if there are frequently children in the home, be sure to keep the pill organizer in a place they cannot reach it as it is easy to open the compartments.
Put All Pills in One Place
Keep all the pills your aging relative eats in the same place. This makes it easier for caregivers to gather them up and fill a pill organizer. It also decreases the chances of forgetting to take some of them. The exception to this rule is if some medications need to be kept refrigerated. Then, obviously, non-refrigerated and refrigerated medicines should be kept separately.
Keep a Medication List
Create a list of all the medications the older adult takes, the dosage, and the time of day they take them. Not only is the list helpful for keeping doctors up to date and for providing to emergency care providers if needed, it can also make it easier for caregivers to keep everything straight and know what the older adult needs to take at each time of the day.
Set a Reminder
Busy caregivers may find it useful to set a reminder on their smartphone, so they don’t forget when senior’s need their medicines. Or, if your aging relative is capable of taking medicines alone, but may occasionally forget, set a reminder on their phone.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Point Pleasant, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.
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