Forgetting pills happens to the best of us. While it may not be a huge deal occasionally, inconsistent medication adherence can be a significant problem for adults who take life-saving and quality-of-life medications. Sticking to a regular medication schedule reduces your risk of disease or complications. There’s an old saying in the medical world that medications don’t work for patients who don’t take them.
There are lots of factors that impact medication adherence like high costs of medicines, inability to retrieve prescriptions, not having access to pills, and medication management. But the biggest reason is often the most obvious one: we simply forget to take our pills. With revolving schedules and tons of pills, it can be hard to remember to take one pill when you wake up, another with breakfast, another on an empty stomach, another when the sun is shining due south, and one before bed but after you’ve brushed your teeth. For those of us with complicated pill schedules, medication adherence can be a burden.
Medication adherence is critical. Your doctor put you on your medicine for a reason—whether it’s to control a disease, manage symptoms, or improve your quality of life. It’s important to take your pills in the way they’re meant to be taken.
Here are 13 of GoGoGrandparent’s go-to tips to help adults remember their pills and make medication adherence as natural and habitual as brushing your teeth.
- Use a clear, weekly pillbox. Pillboxes have compartments for each day and dosing time. A clear pillbox is a great visual reminder to see if you have already taken your pills for the day. A pillbox is also the simplest way to prevent double doses and missed doses. Plus, it makes life easier if you have a lot of medications because you can “prep” your pills in advance.
- Keep your pills visible. If they’re out of sight, then they’re out of mind, so make sure you put your pills somewhere you’ll see them. This might be the bathroom counter or bedroom nightstand for evening pills or in front of the coffee machine or toaster for morning pills.
- While you want your pills to be in a visible spot, you also should make sure they are in a safe place. Keep your pills away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture to keep your pills from spoiling. Also, make sure your pillbox is safely secured from any children or pets.
- Pair taking pills with a habit you already have. For example, if you need to take a certain pill with food, make a habit of taking the pill before your first bite at each mealtime. Or take your morning pills with your first sip of coffee. Attaching taking your pills to habits you already have will make medication adherence much easier.
- Set an alarm on your cell phone or watch to alert you when it’s time to take your medications. Don’t stop the alarm until you’ve taken the medicine. Snooze the alarm if you must so it doesn’t slip your mind.
- Keep a calendar or medication journal. This will let you keep track of all the medicines and doses. List all of your medications including medication name, reason for taking, dose, frequency, time of day, and special instructions. For some people, a smartphone app is a convenient option. You might want to use this to keep track of when you’ve taken each pill. This is also a great list to have on hand when you visit the doctor.
- Use a dry-erase board to keep track of your medication compliance schedule. A dry-erase board works like a medication adherence calendar, but some people prefer a dry-erase board as a visual reminder. At the beginning of the week, write on the board all of your doses for the week and then erase each dose after you’ve taken it.
- Place reminder sticky notes around the house to help remember to be adherent to medication. Place these on the fridge, bathroom mirror, or anywhere that will help you remember to take your pills.
- Ask your healthcare provider to help come up with a medication adherence and administration plan. Your doctor will be able to create the most optimized treatment options, like simplifying medications or changing your frequency of doses.
- Ask your pharmacist if they offer reminder tops for your pills. These are pill bottles with caps that have reminder alarms for your medications. If your pharmacy doesn’t offer these, you can buy some on Amazon as well and put them on top of your prescription bottles.
- Put refill reminders on your calendar. Not having any missed days is an important part of medication compliance. Making sure you have all of your prescriptions is critical to staying consistent. (Also, using a pillbox may help alert you in advance if you are running low on a certain prescription.)
- Keep extra medicine in your bag or purse in case you get tied up away from home. You may also want to give extra medication to caregivers or family members, so they have some on hand just in case.
The number one tip for medication adherence is to always make sure you always have your prescriptions on hand. The easiest, hassle-free way to get your prescriptions is through GoGoGrandparent’s prescription delivery service.
GoGo offers prescription delivery for seniors and people with disabilities, so you can have your medications delivered right to your door. GoGo offers pickups from Costco, Walmart, CVS, your local pharmacy, and more – so you can have prescriptions delivered from multiple locations. You can even set up automatic pickups, so a GoGo driver will deliver your prescriptions on a regular schedule.
Behind the scenes, GoGoGuardians monitor your prescription requests, track your delivery, and help make sure you’re getting your medications on time. That’s what makes us different. We don’t just deliver pills; we become a part of your care team to help you stay adherent to medication schedules. All you have to do is call 1 (855) 464-6872 and press option 6 to be connected to the GoGo prescription team, and we’ll let you know when a driver is on their way!