Prescriptions are obviously important to living a happy, healthy life. However, juggling multiple medicines can be a hassle, especially as we get older. The more medication we take, the more worry about potentially missing a dose.
Additionally, mishandling our medicine may have unforeseen consequences, such as…
- Wasting unnecessary money on medications we misplaced or forgot to take
- Letting perfectly good medication expire, leading to the dangers of flushing medication
- Potential health problems as a result of missing a dose or mixing medicines with adverse drug reactions
There’s a lot at stake when it come our prescriptions. The question remains: what’s the best way for seniors to keep track of them?
Whether you’re taking two or two dozen medications on a daily basis, the following four-step routine will help make sure that you’re taking the right dosage at the right time, day after day.
Keep a Physical List
The first and perhaps most important part of tracking your medicines is to keep a physical, written list of your prescriptions. On this list, you should also include the following for each prescription:
- The name of the medication
- The dosage (how many milligrams, teaspoons and so on)
- How often the medication needs to be taken (once a day, twice a day and so on)
- Does the medication need to be taken with food? (yes or no)
- Does the medication need to be taken with lots of water? (yes or no)
This list should also make note of any potential adverse drug reactions based on what you’re currently taking. If this is a concern, talk to your doctor or use an online drug interaction checker to ensure your combination of medications is safe.
Please note that this list should be physical, and not solely kept on your phone or computer, as you wouldn’t want your list to accidentally get deleted or edited. Additionally, physically writing out the list requires your attention and focus, which will help you better remember your list. Keep your list in a safe and memorable place, perhaps with your medications or posted on the fridge.
Organize Your Meds
These are a number of products you can purchase to help organize your medicine, all of which can be found at your local pharmacy or online at Amazon. Consider investing in a pill organization tray or box that separates your medicine by date and time.
Many such products are color-coded and are easy to read. Such an organizer should align with your list and help keep your medicines in check.
Create a Reminder System
Your reminder system can be something as simple as a posted-note on the fridge or a piece of ribbon tied around your doorknob; however, you need something to remind you to take your medicine daily. Additionally, you can install a reminder app on your phone or computer to help text you or ring when it’s time to take your meds.
Keep a Schedule
In addition to organizing your medicine, try to make a habit of organizing your day by getting into a daily routine. This is especially beneficial if you have a daily medication that needs to be taken with food.
For example, you may establish a routine where you always take your medicine with dinner after watching the nightly news or during lunch after you’ve finished doing yoga. Whether it’s exercising, watching a television program or calling family members, having your day filled with scheduled activities will keep your mind sharp. Establishing a daily routine will keep you from missing out on your medicine and perhaps make the day seem more fulfilling.
Keeping track of our medication isn’t always convenient or fun; however, it’s incredibly important to maintaining our health. By staying organized and establishing a regular routine, taking our medication seems like less of a hassle and simply becomes part of our day.