With some simple reminders and other medication management tools, people with early-stage dementia can continue to take their medication independently.
Keeping track of the medication that needs to be taken at different times of day can be a struggle, especially when there’s a mix of medicine that needs to be taken before and after meals throughout the day. This can be even more challenging for a person with dementia, who might have trouble remembering if they’ve taken their medicine earlier.
While missing a dosage once in a while is nothing to panic over, forgetting to take your medicine on time regularly can lessen the effectiveness, making it important that we find ways to help ensure our loved ones with dementia take their medication on time. There are various tools and tricks we can use to do this, with some also being helpful in allowing the person with dementia to maintain their independence in the early stages of dementia.
Organising Pill Boxes
One of the simplest ways for keeping track of medication is the use of pill boxes. By placing each dose into a different compartment, you make it easier for your loved one to take the correct medicine at the correct times. By labelling each compartment, you can also make it easier to tell the time of day that each dose should be taken. This solution has the added benefit of making it easy to tell at a glance if a dosage has been missed.
A more advanced solution is to opt for the more advanced automatic pill dispensers, which reminds the user that it’s time to take their medication through the use of alarms, dispensing medicine from the correct compartment. With a range of devices that offer slightly different functions for varying price points, it’s possible to find one that’s the right fit for your needs.
If there aren’t too many different medicines to contend with and your loved one simply needs some prompting to take their medication at the correct time, using a phone to set alarms with simple descriptions can be an appropriate solution. You can also put a daily schedule next to a digital clock to make it easier for the person with dementia to tell which medications they should be taking.
It’s a good idea to keep a detailed record of all the prescribed medicines, including the name, dosage, and starting date. Add a picture of the medication and its bottle for easy identification, and you have a handy list ready in the event of a serious drug interaction or in cases of overdose.
This article is reproduced from the Alzheimer’s Disease Association’s website. For more dementia-related content, visit www.alz.org.sg
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