Pills are one of the key stressful parts of Senior lives. Not only for them, but for you. Depending on thier aliments, you could have from 3 to 20+ pills a day you need to take. First, if you new at this make a small health notebook. Keep notes on the pills they take, when, and actually it is real good to understand what they do. G-Ma knew her pills, what they did, and also what other drugs might conflict. If you have one of these types of persons as a Senior, look out, they can bee too smart for their own health.
So, for a long time, I was standing on the sidelines not really understanding how my G-Ma was dispensing her pills. My wife and I assumed that she knew so much about pills, she was doing ok. Then, over a few months she started getting high blood pressure, ER visits, and just times where she was very sick in bed for days.
Last time she went into the hospital for Blood Pressure of 240/110, I started to wonder what was going on. Her Dr. was sort of half in the game (which is typical). My wife made a list of all her pills and what they did, but it was not up to date, but I could not identify which pill was which. So, I did what any engineers son would do and I highly recommend you do this yourself. I took a back of a notepad and glued it to the back of glossy photo printer paper. I used a hot glue gun to a sample of each of the current pills she took, and what their name was and what they did for her. This was so helpful.
Pill Legend Tool to keep it all straight
Ok, next her pill boxes. G-Ma had 4-5 of the crappiest pill boxes from the late 1800’s. The lids would not close and they were not marked at all. I think this might even be part of why her health was so messed up as she got the boxes and pills messed up. So I went to the store and got a nice 7 day of the week set of large openings, clearly marked compartments with times of the day on the colored lids for easy recognition.
Pill box, Walmart, Under $6
The most important part of the new box was the rounded bottom of the boxes (no sharp corners to for the pills to get stuck in the corner ) so you can scoop them out and the 1/2 pills you try to get out do not get stuck in a corner fo the compartments.
Learning how to dispense pills to a Senior becomes an art. You have to be patient. Some of it you learn from them. Sometimes they know ones they have to take first or not all a the same time. Like the 600 mb IB Profen bombs should not be taken on an empty stomach, ulness….unless she is hurting then make her take it or it will be too late by the time you feed her and get her the pill. W
Beware that sometimes the Senior will learn how they can push you into thinking they do not need that pill that day or they want to buy time, hoping you will forget…It is a game after a while. Stick to you guns and also talk to the Pharmacist and or to their pill specific Dr. about mixing pills, when to take them. When you are armed with this knowledge, you are able to firmly tell the Senior that they have to take the pills and that you asked the Dr. Sometimes you have to use the Doctor card when they are being stubborn. The alternative is that they are in pain for the rest of the day and it takes hours for them to recover. So much to know and the Doctors don’t help much.
Does this look familiar?
And check out the prescription date and compare it to the date of this article…. Yiiiiikes, go through your Seniors old pills !!!