Date: September 27, 2021

Author: Kathleen Boziwick

A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 89 percent of older adults report taking at least one prescription medication each day. More than half report taking four or more pills each day. It’s a lot of pills each day.

Not only does your dad have multiple pills he’s taking, but he also has different instructions to remember. One of his pills has to be taken with food. Another has to be taken on an empty stomach.

Some have to be taken with milk, and others have to be taken with water. How well does your dad do when it comes to remembering to take his daily prescriptions and following instructions on how to take them?

Why Does He Forget?

Does your dad forget his pills, or is he worried about the cost? About a quarter of older adults say they struggle to afford their prescription drugs. These people are more likely to stretch their prescriptions by taking a pill every other day. Others try to save money by not having some prescriptions filled but skipping others.

Your dad may not like the way his pills make him feel. If he has a medication that makes him feel nauseous, he may stop taking it to avoid feeling poorly. He might not like the dizziness or tiredness that some pills lead to.

Talk to your dad about the medications he takes. Ask him to be honest about how they make him feel. If some have side effects that bother him, he should tell his doctor. A different medication may work just as well and not have the same side effects.

What Happens If He Doesn’t Take His Pill?

What happens if your dad forgets to take one of his pills or takes it incorrectly? Some pills won’t cause too much harm, but others could lead to worsening health. For example, your dad takes a vitamin D supplement for strong bones. Missing a dose isn’t the end of the world. His blood thinner, however, could cause complications if he forgets a dose.

It’s important to get your dad into the habit of remembering all of his pills. If he struggles with the dosages, instructions, or times to take them, look into medication management services from an elder care agency.

Have you looked into elder care services? Your dad could have caregivers in his home to remind him when it’s time to take his next pill. He’ll never forget a dose or risk taking a second dose because he can’t remember if he took a pill or not. Call an elder care specialist to make the arrangements.


Date: September 27, 2021