When a doctor prescribes medication, it’s important to complete the full course of the treatment at the times indicated. Not completing a medication schedule can cause complications in the future and it is a leading cause of antibiotic resistance, which leads to people needing to use stronger and stronger doses of antibiotics.
Older people, can be more prone to deviating from their medication schedules. There are several reasons why an elderly loved one may deviate from their course. If you are taking care of someone, here are some ways to help them stick with their schedule.
1. Help them understand why they must take the medicine
An older person might be consciously avoiding their medication. This is because they might not know why they are taking a certain pill or capsule. They might be unsure it is working; for example, an anti-platelet drug that slows the formation of blood clots would not have observable effects. However, it prevents those with cardiovascular issues from having heart attacks.
Make sure they understand what each drug is for. Communicate in clear, easy to understand terms, and highlight what each one does for your loved one’s wellbeing. If they experience side effects when taking the drug it makes it more likely they’ll carry on taking the course of medication.
2. Print out the daily medication routine in large font
Your loved one might be forgetting to take their medicine because the steps are convoluted. People get more conditions over time, so older people have increasingly complex daily schedules.
They would need to take multiple pills and capsules, at different hours of the day, which can be taxing on their memory. Help them by printing their schedule out for them and hanging these over places in the home they frequent.
3. Get the tools to help them remember
Aside from making signs to help them remember to take their medicine, you can also get a pill organiser that doubles as a memory device. A product like the TabTime Super 8, for example, is a pill box with alarm that has room for eight reminders a day. It also has a magnetic opening which makes it easy for people with weak fingers to snap it open.
Another helpful product is the TabTime Vibe, which can handle up to five doses a day. It vibrates and plays audio when a dose comes up, making it a good choice for people who have compromised vision.
4. Show them that their health matters
Aside from giving practical support, it is important to keep giving your loved one emotional support as well. Having a chronic condition can take a toll on someone’s mental health. It can bring feelings of worthlessness, anxiety about the future, and guilt about how much time and effort at-home care takes.
Reassuring them and encouraging them to catch up with friends will help your loved one through this time. When they are happy and keeping socially active, they are more likely to be proactive about their medication and health.
Taking a complete course of medicine is important in ensuring its effectiveness, but older people sometimes need reminding about their medication. Give them the care they need by following a few simple guidelines, like printing the schedule and explaining why they need to take certain pills. Getting them a pill dispenser or pill box with alarm will also help them stay on schedule.
If you are looking for a locked timed pill box or any other product to help, get in touch with us today. We have many products that help with medication management and each has a 12-month warranty.