Caring for an elderly loved one is a job that requires a lot of patience and a whole lot of heart. As our loved ones begin to age, they become less able to care for themselves in many ways. They’ll need help getting around, keeping up with good hygiene, eating a healthy diet, and managing their medications.
Many elderly loved ones need to take several medications a day to keep them in good health. All of these different medications can be overwhelming and difficult to remember each day. This is why it’s so essential for you to ensure you know proper medication management.
Whether it’s pain management medication or medication for a health condition, your loved one should never miss a dosage. In the guide below, you’ll learn how to properly manage all of your loved one’s medications in a stress-free manner. Continue reading below to get started.
1. Use a Whiteboard
How many medications are you currently trying to manage as a caregiver? Do you have an exact number in mind? If not, then now is the time to start writing everything down.
You should know how many medications they need to take each day, the best times for them to take them, and the names of each one. Because your loved one most likely has several different medications, it’s a good idea to write them down on a whiteboard. Whiteboards are ideal because you can make changes as needed if a prescription were to change.
On the whiteboard, write down each pill’s name, the time it needs to be taken, and any other guidelines (needs to be taken with food, before bed, etc.). This will help you stay organized.
2. Place Pills in a Pill Organizer
Placing pills in a pill organizer can also help you keep things organized. Pill cases are relatively inexpensive and will have the letter for each day written on each section. You can then place Monday’s pills in Monday’s compartment, and so on.
Using pill containers can become challenging when there are many pills needed each day at certain times. You don’t want to mix up the pills by placing them all in the same section.
How can you get around this?
Consider buying multiple pill organizers. Then, place one pill in each section and write the time in a permanent marker on the pill organizer for the time that medication needs to be taken and the pill’s name. Do this for each medication.
If there are five pills to be taken a day, then you’ll need five pill organizers. You’ll then need to refill them each morning with the right pill.
3. Keep Drugs Separate
Having so many prescription bottles can become overwhelming and can make things seem unorganized. Because of this, you may feel tempted to pour all of the medications into one bottle. Even though most pills might look different from one another, it’s best to avoid placing all medicines into one container.
When you do this, it becomes much easier to confuse one pill for another. It’s crucial not to do this, so do keep each medicine in its own prescription bottle. It’s also a good idea to keep all prescriptions and medications in the same drawer, cabinet, or another type of storage.
Having all of the pills in their own containers but in the same storage place will help you stay organized. You can even place the bottles in order of time, depending on what time of the day they need to be taken at.
4. Set a Medication Alarm
Smartphones are wonderful things, and setting an alarm has never been easier. If you have trouble remembering to give your loved one their medication, then don’t hesitate to set a medication alarm on your phone. A regular phone alarm with the name of the pill should do.
You’ll then know what pill to give them at the time of the alarm. You can do this for each medication, even if it means having multiple alarms go off each day.
5. Download a Medication App
Did you know there are medication apps made to help people stay on top of taking medications? It’s true! Although your loved one might not be able to download an app like this, you can consider doing so.
Download the app, put in the information needed, and let the app help you stay organized. There are a few different ways to receive pill reminders on your phone, so be sure to try out a few of them.
6. Organize Weeks in Advance
Organizing weeks in advance not only takes away some of your daily stress but also helps you realize when you’ll need to request a refill on specific prescriptions. No matter how you decide to organize and manage the medication, it’s a good idea to do so weeks in advance.
After you organize the medication for a month or two months, you can then see when a particular medication will run out. Be sure to write down this information on your whiteboard!
7. Limit the Number of Doctors
With so many different medications, things are already difficult to manage. The last thing you need is more stress and confusion. To keep things simplified, try limiting the number of doctors your loved one gets prescriptions from.
If you can get the majority of prescriptions from one doctor, it will make things easier for you when asking questions, requesting a refill, or requesting something else.
8. Hire Professional Home Care Services
Medication management isn’t the only thing you’ll need to stay on top of when caring for an elderly loved one. There are many other factors to consider, such as running their errands, ensuring they’re eating well, helping them get around the house, and maintaining their hygiene.
Hiring a professional home care service will relieve some of the weight from your shoulders. These professionals are trained and know how to manage all medications properly and care for your loved one.
Medication Management Has Never Been Easier
With these helpful tips, medication management has never been easier. You have what it takes to provide proper care for your elderly loved one, but everyone becomes tired or overwhelmed at times. When you’re looking for some extra help to care for your loved one, contact Care Partners at Home.
Our experts handle the primary care needs all the way through some of the most complex care needs. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you.