A challenging aspect of senior care for an aging parent is ensuring that they remember to take their medications on time. Even if your parent doesn’t have an illness that makes them forgetful, their memory probably isn’t what it used to be. Take a few steps to help your parent maintain a medication schedule in a way that makes things easier on both of you.
4 Tips for Helping an Older Parent Remember Their Medication
1. Get Organized
First, write down the medications that your parent keeps forgetting to take, along with the instructions for ingesting and storing them. Next, choose a pill box; most will let you organize the pills by week, two weeks, or a month at a time. Set it up at the beginning of every designated time period so that there’s no need to wonder what needs to be taken and when.
2. Create a Schedule
If your parent is comfortable with smartphones, install a clock or medication management app to set alarms whenever they’re supposed to take a pill. Name each alarm after the medicine they need when it goes off. Alternatively, use medication reminder phone call services. Either way, keep a chart of which dose was taken and when. Coordinate with your parent’s doctor or a senior care specialist to formulate the most efficient possible schedule so that your parent doesn’t get overwhelmed with alarms or phone calls at all hours of the day.
3. Plan Trips to the Pharmacy
Figure out when your parent will need refills so that you can get them ahead of time. If possible, ask the pharmacy to provide automatic refills with enough medicine for 90 days, which saves you time. Some pharmacies can even have the pills delivered to your parent’s home. If they don’t, see whether you can make use of companies like PillPack® or Phil®, which mail the necessary medications before they run out.
4. Involve Other People
It’s useful if you’re not the only person remembering your parent’s medication schedule. Share it with other family members, too, so they can help if you’re not available for some reason. Should your family members be unable or unwilling to back you up, hire a caregiver who specializes in senior care. They can focus on keeping the medication schedule running smoothly and ensure your parent gets what they need at the right times.
For help organizing senior care for your parent, HDR Healthcare Network in the Bronx, NY, can provide the medical services and education that they need. Additionally, they offer pediatrics services, family medicine, urgent care, and even home health care, so they’re prepared for any medical situation. Find a primary care physician today by calling (718) 617-2500.