Health

Medication management tips for senior citizens living alone

If you are past the age of seventy, chances are that you have medication prescribed to you by a doctor. As you grow older, however, taking medication on time might prove challenging.

Sometimes, you may not even remember to take the medicine, especially if you live alone. So, what will you do to ensure you remember to take your medicine on time?

Set reminders

Reminders should be your best friend because forgetting to take your medication may put your life in danger. Try setting alarms on your phone or alarm clock.

You can write notes and leave them at strategic places such as the door of the fridge, the kitchen cupboard, or the bathroom mirror. The notes will help you to remember to take your medicine.

You can also ask a loved one or a close friend to call you daily at around the same time that you need to take the medication. They will help you remain accountable and stay on track. If you use prescription bottles, set a reminder for a refill on a certain date. This will ensure that you never run out of medicine.

Sort your pills

If you are taking multiple medications at different times of the day, you need to have a place that you can arrange your medication according to the timetable.

All pills prescribed for morning hours should stay grouped together while the rest should be in their respective time slots. A good plan will help you avoid missing important medications.

Some medications look similar and may end up confusing you. Make sure you label all your medicine clearly as well as their containers to prevent mix-ups or incidences of overdosing.

Understand the medication

Check with your doctor to confirm the types of medicine that you can take together. Sometimes, mixing the wrong medication may have a lethal effect on you.

Confirming which medicines to take together and which ones to take hours apart will help you come up with an appropriate medication timetable. Note that some medicines may have side effects that are too strong when taken together and may negatively affect your health.

As such, you should let your doctor guide you on whether to mix your medicine or spread it out across the day and night.

Know whether to eat or not before taking the drugs

Some medications need the user to have a full stomach while others work best on an empty stomach. As such, you need to ask your doctor how and when to take your medicine.

Some medicines do not react well with water and you may have to chew or swallow them.

Check expiration dates

Taking expired medication might have some serious side effects. Always check the expiry dates of your drugs so that when they expire, you can dispose of them and get a refill.

You can set reminders on your calendar for expiry dates and dispose the medicine when your alarm goes off.

Side effects

Unfortunately, as much as you may need the medicine, its side effects may be too strong for you. Make a habit of learning about the possible side effects of your medicine and observe how your body reacts to the medicine.

You can also confirm with your doctor if the side effects will be harmful to your health. Some side effects may include feeling drowsy, implying that you should avoid driving or cooking after taking such medication.

Access to pills

If you live far from the hospital or pharmacy and getting your medication may take some time, you can find a way to order for refills a few days before you run out of pills. You can also have the medicine delivered to you or set specific days for visiting the hospital.

If you have a problem remembering when to have your prescriptions filled, a reminder will come in handy. As suggested earlier, you can put reminder notes in various locations of your home. Avoid running out of the drugs and going for days without taking your medication because it may have a negative impact on your health.

Appointments

Frequent appointments to the doctor will help you know whether there is any improvement in your health and whether you need new medication. You will also make it easier for your doctor to detect any early signs of complications or diseases.

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