Don’t Forget Your Medication

Prescription drug use is on the rise, with 85% of adults over the age of 60 taking at least 1 medication. Many seniors also are on polypharmacy regimens, taking more than 5 prescriptions at once to address various ailments. With prescription use increasing and memory often declining, older adults need a solid plan in place to remember to take medications daily. Specific tips can help increase adherence, leading to healthier outcomes for seniors.


1. Consistency is key

Good daily habits are needed to increase medication adherence. Some individuals can benefit from taking the pill at the same time every day, such as after breakfast or right before bed. Other people may need an additional nudge with an alarm or written reminder. Weekly pillboxes can be especially helpful for older adults who need to take more than a pill a day. This is especially true if the various pills must be taken at different times during the day.

2. Plan ahead

Forgetfulness goes beyond simply not remembering to take a medication. Some older adults may forget to refill the prescription altogether. Turning on automatic refills can be a game-changer for seniors. With scheduled refills taking place, individuals don’t have to worry about forgetting to fill the prescription on time. Another scenario to consider is the possibility of forgetting to bring a medication while away from home. In some cases, extra doses can be provided so the person can keep an emergency stash in the car or a purse for forgetful days.

3. A pharmacist can help

Medication management doesn’t have to be solely the responsibility of the individual. A pharmacist is an excellent community resource available to help. Pharmacists can start by performing a medication review where any unnecessary, outdated, or duplicative drugs can be removed from the daily regimen. A pharmacist can also check for dangerous drug-drug interactions and will also ask about supplement use to rule out potential concerns.

What about compounding?

In some cases, compounding pharmacists can help further by combining 2 or more drugs into a single pill. If the delivery form is a problem, pharmacists can change the form of the drug from a pill into a liquid or gummy to increase adherence. Although more commonly used for children, some seniors may also want to opt for medication flavoring through compounding.

Simplify your life

A lapse in memory is common as a person gets older. However, even for forgetful people, certain tips can help increase medication adherence. Stay consistent, plan ahead, and work with a local pharmacist to streamline the daily medication regimen. With a little effort, forgetting a pill will become a problem of the past, and seniors can stay healthy.


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