It turns out that a LOT of seniors don’t take their prescription meds properly. They might skip pills, take too many, take them at the wrong time, or even not fill prescriptions at all. Not taking your meds correctly can lead to serious medical problems, trips to the emergency room, and even death! As caregivers, we need to keep an eye on whether your loved one is taking all their prescriptions according to their doctor’s directions.
If you think your loved one may not be taking all their meds as directed, you should try to understand why it’s happening. You might be better off asking them “which meds do you skip sometimes” to a conversation instead of asking “are you taking all your meds.”
The most common reasons seniors neglect their meds and things you can do to help are:
- Cost of prescription or co-pay: Read the “Saving Money on Prescriptions” article
- Too many meds to take each week: Talk to your loved one's doctor about whether each prescription is necessary. Use the Kinto Medications Tool to help organize their pill box each week. If they don't have a pill box yet, get them one!
- Pills hard to swallow or dislike of needles: Ask your loved one's doctor if there are easier options
- Side-effects: Talk to your loved one's doctor about different meds they can take
- Directions are too complicated: Help your loved one understand by reading through the directions and asking their pharmacy for better explanations
- Hassle of filling prescriptions: Ask their pharmacy if they can fill prescriptions by mail or look at online pharmacies
- Not sure if it’s doing any good: Explain what each medication does and why it’s important. Talk to their doctor if you aren’t certain yourself