How To Help Elderly Remember Medications

Managing Medications Is Essential For Senior Health

One’s health takes the utmost priority, especially if that person is a senior citizen. The elderly often have to depend on medications to keep themselves healthy. While certain medicines get prescribed for health conditions, others serve the purpose of preventive care.

Although medications help them lead a worry-free life, age catches up, and sometimes they tend to forget the itsy-bitsy parts of their life, including taking the pills on time. In such a scenario, some tips to help the elderly manage medications can do the trick.

12 Ways To Help Elderly Remember Medications

We all understand how life-threatening it can get if seniors forget to take their medicines on time. In the case of conditions like dementia, the help and guidance of the loved ones, or the caregivers, cannot be understated. Therefore, establishing a routine, among other things, helps avoid any medical mishap.

Here’s a look at several ways through which you can help the elderly remember medications.

1. Make a List
If you wish to assist your parent or relative, you must have a list of all the medicines they take. This list includes prescription medications as well as any over-the-counter medications or supplements. Maintain a copy of the list with you and leave the original at their residence. In case of a medical emergency, this list will help the first responders attend to the patient with care and caution.

2. Build a Routine
An easy way to handle multiple medications is to build a routine. Whether it’s brushing one’s teeth, taking a bath, or combing hair, everyone has a set pattern. Therefore, if your parent or relative takes the medicines regularly, as part of their daily routine, it forms a habit. For example, they can take their medications before or right after their meals. Just remember to check the prescription before handing out the medicines.

3. Buy a Pill-Box
Save the elderly the trouble of opening the medication from the original packaging every day, especially if there are multiple medicines to be consumed; buy a pill-box instead. It saves them time and makes it easier for them to keep up with the medications and when to take them.

4. Set an Alarm
Try the old-fashioned method of setting reminder alarms on their phone. This tactic will ensure that all the prescription medicines get taken on time, other than the daily supplements.

5. Make Use of Technology
Make yourself and your parent or relative familiar with the technology. There are several apps (or applications) available on the phone specifically-designed for medicine tracking. Just download the app on the phone, add a picture of the pill if possible, and set a reminder. It will help the elderly get comfortable with technology and also take their medicines without fail.

6. Draft a Calendar
You can either make a customized calendar or make additions to the original one. It not only helps track the medications but also remembers any prescription refills. Just make sure there is enough space on the calendar to write down the names of the medicines along with the time and the number of times they need to take them.

7. Give a Quick Call
Take five minutes out of your busy schedule to give your loved one a call and remind them to take their medicines. It takes only a few seconds, and this way, you can be sure that they’ve taken them without being constantly worried.

8. Associate Daily Activities
Elaborating on the earlier point of building a routine, you can try the association memory method. For example, every morning, when they brush their teeth, it’s a reminder that the next thing on their agenda is to take their morning pills. It is an effective way to stimulate their memory and encourage compliance.

9. Place Medicine Bottles at Designated Locations
Place the pill-box or the medicine bottles in a highly visible space to trigger the memory. Avoid placing them in drawers or cabinets and store them in easily detectable locations such as the dining table, the bathroom rack, or on the nightstand instead. It prompts memory and makes it easier for them to remember to take their medicines on time.

10. Get an Automatic Pill Dispenser
If your parent or relative isn’t familiar with using a smartphone, get them an automatic pill dispenser with an in-built alarm. It will sound a beeping alarm at the prescribed time and can be especially helpful for those with vision and memory impairment.

11. Keep Important Numbers Handy
Although this is old-school, it is essential. Maintain a list of all the necessary phone numbers that include the numbers of their doctors and neighbors. In such a case, when you cannot get in touch with them or there is a medical emergency, you will know whom to call.

12. Hire a Home Care Expert
If the mobility of the senior gets restricted, due to a predisposed condition or due to age, the next best thing to do is to hire a home care expert. They can monitor and report any medication problems, and they are also authorized to handle prescription refills.


As you may know, staying organized can be challenging in old age. Besides, if there are multiple pills to be taken at different times of the day, it can get daunting. However, if you follow the above cues, it will make you and your parent or relatives’ life a lot easier. Remember, you cannot slow down their aging, but you can always make sure that they get to live worry-free.

Looking For Further Help Caring For An Aging Parent?

To ensure your loved ones are taken care of at all times, Aims Healthcare presents Elderly Care At Home service for those who require careful and dedicated attention. Our DHA-Certified nurses and caregivers are highly trained in providing specialized services to those in need of treatments and extend the care by assisting, imparting training, and educating the whole family. We are open 24/7 – 365 days so, you can place a call and request this service anytime.

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