5 Tips to Effectively Manage Medications
Any caregiver knows how difficult managing an older loved one’s medications can be, especially if there are several different prescriptions to be managed. Cariloop’s healthcare coaches have witnessed the dangers of mismanaged medications, and want to make sure that caregivers feel in control of their loved one’s medication list. Here are just a few tips that our healthcare coaches recommend for caregivers that are responsible for a loved one’s medications.
Organize all Medications
The easiest way to manage your loved one’s meds is by organizing them in a safe place where he or she can easily access them. Having a medicine cabinet, zip-lock bag, dresser drawer or another storage container can help you organize your loved one’s medication. They will no longer have to worry about misplacing a prescription because every medication will be in one centralized location.
Make sure to consult with your loved one’s current doctor to confirm each medication is still needed. If there are some medications that are no longer being used, dispose of them properly so that they are not accidentally taken.
Make a List
Gathering a list of all your loved one’s prescriptions can help keep everything organized and accessible, especially if you are trying to juggle quite a few medications. Collect a list of names, dosages, reasons for the medication and special instructions to help you make sure your loved one is getting the right medicine they need. Having a list of medications handy is also important in case he or she is admitted to a hospital or switches doctors because they will need to have that information in order to provide the most accurate treatment.
There’s an app for that? Of course there is! In fact, there are several options available on a mobile device that can help you manage your loved one’s meds no matter where you are. These apps allow you to set reminders when it is time for your loved one to take the medication and when refills are due. Most apps also have a place where you can insert your list of medications, doctors, and pharmacy information so that you always have it. Does your loved one use a smart phone? If so, there are apps that will alert them when it is time to take a dose, plus which one to take and what it looks like.
Have a loved one who can’t remember when to take their medication? Or maybe they don’t remember if they took all of the pills they were supposed to? Pill boxes are a very popular tool in order to keep track of what pills to take on what day. Take some time each week to set up a pill box for your loved one so that they don’t have to worry about missing a treatment. These boxes are portable, easy-to-use containers that separate pills by morning/night and Monday-Friday. Also, these containers are very affordable for those who are budget conscious yet need a way to organize their pills. You can usually find them at your nearest supermarket and/or pharmacy.
Use One Pharmacy
Do you have questions regarding your loved one’s prescription? Your pharmacy should be able to help. It is very common for people to have different pharmacies for their medicine, but keeping your loved one’s medication at one pharmacy will help prevent confusion and make accessing refills and new prescriptions more convenient. Make sure to have your pharmacy information readily available for when your doctor asks you which pharmacy you prefer.
These tips are just a glimpse of the recommendations that Cariloop’s healthcare coaches make every day to help families in need. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you are having trouble managing your loved one’s medications—the responsibility does not have to be overwhelming with our coaches on your side.