Q: My husband doesn't take his medications as he should. What can I do?

AlexSandra Davis, RN, BSN, MPA, CPM

A: Some reasons many patients are non-compliant with their medications include: forgetfulness (they forget to take it or get it refilled), they don't like the side effects, or they don't understand what the medication is for and how to take it.

Other factors that interfere with medication management include, poor vision, being unable to open medication bottles, not understanding how to use them, or the cost.

To improve medication management try;
• Only use 1 pharmacy to get his medications, and talk to his pharmacist when looking at over-the-counter medications as they can interact with his prescribed medications
• Have him keep track of his medications by keeping a list (remember to take a copy to all medical appointments)
• Know the reasons he is taking medications and how many times per day he should take them
• Know what foods he should avoid to prevent interactions
• Learn what the side effect are for each medications, and when to call the doctor
• Use pillboxes; there are several kinds that can track a whole week with options for 3 or more times per day
• Set up reminders (post-it notes at various locations around the house, place medications where meals are eaten, set an alarm, or use technology - like an app for smart phones)
• Sign up for refill reminders from his pharmacy
• If you have a question, ask the doctor, someone at the pharmacy, a family member, or other medical care provider

To help clients take their medications as ordered, Wooster Community offers Home Health and Home Assistance to help keep medications organized by setting up medications in a pillbox and they provide medication reminders.

For more information, contact Wooster Community Hospital's Home Assistance at 330-263-8630.

Manager of Home Health Services and Home Assistance