Medication Tips and Tools for Family Caregivers
Fortunately, a number of tools are available to make that easier to do. Follow these tips to make dispensing medication to your aging loved one a safer and less stressful.
Give Your Loved One a Sense of Independence
For as long as they are able to do so, allow your loved one to take their own medicine. This could mean setting up their pills in an easy-to-open container marked with each day of the week or even each hour in the day.
Set a gentle alarm to remind your loved one to take their medication, and follow up to ensure it happened.
There’s An App for That
A number of medication management apps make it easy to track your loved one’s prescriptions. These apps can send you reminders via alarm, text, or email.
Some allow multiple logins, which is helpful if multiple caregivers are involved in your loved one’s care or if your loved one is largely responsible for managing their own medications but you want to oversee the process.
Features to Look for in Medication Management Apps
Most free medication management apps track and store information about:
- When it’s time to take medication
- The time since the last dose was taken (especially helpful for painkillers, which may not be taken on a regular schedule, but as needed)
- Specific notes regarding medication, including the form of medicine and whether it should be taken with or without food
Other paid apps provide more robust features. These might include systems that help:
- Monitor dose limits
- Record missed doses and adjust reminders accordingly
- Allow health care providers to adjust medication schedules on the app
- Let you print or export prescriptions
- Manage an unlimited number of medications for multiple family members
Today’s medication management technology extends well beyond medication management apps.
For instance, a smart pill bottle can remind you when to dispense medication or tell you if your loved one has missed a dose. It can even notify health care professionals about whether or not your loved one took the meds on time.
The bottle can also send a message to the pharmacist when it’s time to renew a prescription, putting most of medication management on auto-pilot for busy caregivers.
Choose the Tools that Work for You
Depending on your level of comfort with technology and how much assistance you need managing medications for your loved one, plenty of tools exist to help.
The key is finding the ones that work best for you and your family.
If your senior loved one needs help with more than medication reminders, an assisted living community might be a safe and healthy solution. Contact Five Star Senior Living to discuss options for assisted living today.