For just about anyone on a medication regimen, remembering to take that multi-hued assortment of pills on schedule is often a struggle. Yet doing so is important. Many medications require you to take them at the same time each day for them to work effectively. Sometimes, an uneven schedule even results in rug resistance. While it’s just not something we relish doing, we can improve our med-taking success with some simple steps for turning this easily forgotten task into a daily routine.
- Get a pill organizer. Then choose a consistent day and time to load it up for the week. Mark the day on your calendar.
- Put that organizer in a place where you can’t miss it. Maybe next to the coffee machine or the refrigerator.
- Get in the habit of taking your medications at set times each day. Since breakfast and dinner time are already part of your daily routine, make them pill time as well.
- And to help further, take advantage of technology. Alarm applications are often available for computers and cell phones (or just use a good old alarm clock) as well as calendar applications that can be set to deliver email or text message alerts.
- A number of electronic gadgets are on the market too that help with reminders. Epill.com is just one online source with devices that automatically alert seniors in a number of ways. A device that plays a voice message reminder and another that vibrates at a set time can be very helpful.
- Over-taking medications can be as harmful as not taking them on time. You can ensure certainty by creating a checklist that you mark each time you take your pills. A simple paper graph works well, or if you have a computer, use a spreadsheet or word processing program for this task. You may want to note additional information such as describing the reason for the medication, medications that are taken “as needed,” and special instructions such as a need for refrigerating a particular medicine.
And if you’re away on vacation or travel, it can be helpful to pre-load your pill organizer and put a reminder note on the outside of your luggage. Many seniors find that their cell phones are the perfect traveling companions that can remind them with alarm or calendar alerts.