Senior Medication Management: Tips,Tools,and Ideas

It’s something that so many can relate to; the challenge of medication management. It’s not easy staying on top of your medication, especially if you have multiple prescriptions. For seniors, especially those with dementia, it can be a down right pain to keep track of it all. However, it doesn’t have to be such a burden. Use the following ideas, tips, and tools to help with your medication management.

Get organized.

Forget having to sift through the cabinet, medicine drawer, or your purse to find the medicine bottle(s) you need. Having to locate different bottles and extract the pills you need can grow tiresome. There are better ways to store and organize your medication. Here are just a few of the many options available:
  • 7 Day Rotating Case: this rotating dispenser has a compartment for each day of the week. What’s great about this case is the easy to open slide door, and it’s also really sleek looking.
  • Rectangular Daily Medication Case: a more popular style design, this rectangular case has 7 compartments labeled with large font for every day of the week. The compartments are easy to open and have ample space for multiple pills.
  • 7 Day Pill Organizer: this organizer has a separate, removable pill tray for every day of the week. You just slide out the tray that you need for the day, and the next day’s tray will drop down automatically. Each tray also has 4 compartments; morning, noon, evening, bedtime.

Be Reminded.

Staying on top of your medication is a real task. And, if you’re prescribed multiple medications, keeping track of all of their different schedules and dosages can be a real pain. For example, while one pill may need to be taken twice a day with food, others may require being taken once a week, every other day, right before bed, etc. It’s all too easy to forget to take a dose or to double a dose forgetting you had taken it already. Using a reminder will take the stress and worry out of managing your medications. Reminders come in different forms,  and it is important to choose which works best for you.

Alarm clock

If you have just one medication to take per day, setting your phone alarm or desk alarm clock to a certain time each day may work for you. However, keep in mind that your desk alarm clock will only be helpful when you are at home to hear it.

Phone App Reminder

There are several apps available to download right to your smartphone. These apps make it easy to keep your medication schedule on track, and your life easier. A great example is Medisafe. This free app is pretty incredible. You just record all of your meds and you get a notification when you need to take them. Medisafe has many helpful features like knowing your medication’s shape and color, so there is no guesswork involved.  There are other apps available too, just do a quick Google search for “pill reminder app” or “medication reminder app”, and you’ll find more options to research.

Pill Box Alarm

Another option is a pill box, dispenser, and alarm all in one like this one. This device will sound an alarm that gets increasingly louder until the medication is taken. The alarm also triggers the correct compartment to flash, so there is no guessing involved. You can program your box to set up to 4 daily reminders, and to tell you how much of each medication to take.

TimeCap

The TimeCap fits on any pill bottle and has a built in timer and automatically begins counting since the last time the bottle was opened and then will alert you when it is time to take another dosage. It’s a great option if you have only one prescription, however, each cap costs about $29, which can add up quickly when you have multiple prescriptions.  

And also…

  • Use a whiteboard calendar- Using a weekly format calendar whiteboard, list the dose time, medication name, dosage amount, and whether it should be taken with food. This is a great visual reminder.
  • Keep an updated list of all of your medications, both over the counter and prescription in a small notepad. Include the medication name, dosages, side effects, etc. You never know when you may need to reference it. Also, take this note pad with you when you see your doctor.
  • Many medication organizers only have one compartment for each day of the week. If you have medications that need to be taken twice daily, consider buying two of the same organizers in different colors. Then, label them “morning” and “evening”, or whatever you require