Is Dad taking his meds "as directed?"

Submitted on Thursday September 11th, 2014
kate b. reynolds

A recent national survey suggests that every year nearly half of adults taking prescription medications for a chronic condition make errors in taking their meds. The most common problem areas:

  • Memory: Forgetting to take a medication
  • Organization: Failing to order a refill in time and running out of a drug
  • Convenience: Being away from home and missing dose(s)
  • Side effects: Experiencing unpleasant reactions
  • Cost: Affording the drug

Any deviation from what’s prescribed is risky. This is especially true for older adults in fragile health. Here’s what you can do to support your loved one in following the doctor’s orders.

  • Develop and monitor routines. A multiday pillbox may be all that’s necessary to resolve memory issues. Bring one as a present, along with your promise to keep the box filled and refills ordered on time. If more active reminders are needed, consider an automated, locking pill dispenser or a program that sends an alert when a dose is needed. See our earlier article about remembering to take medications.

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