If you’re living with COPD, chances are you’re taking regular medication – either for your COPD or for some other condition. We all know that it’s important to take your medications at the time of day and frequency prescribed, but it’s even more critical when you’re dealing with a condition like COPD. Other conditions that your medications are helping to manage – such as high blood pressure or edema – could affect your COPD symptoms.
So, here are some helpful tips to keep your medications on schedule at all times:
Use A Day-Of-The-Week Pillbox
Use a multi-chambered pillbox labeled with the days of the week. You can buy inexpensive pillboxes that consist of one strip of chambers, one for each day of the week, or double- or even triple-strip boxes that are labeled by both days of the week and times of day. You can buy pillboxes with either standard or extra-large chambers to accommodate a few or a lot of pills.
If you hate the job of counting and loading your pillboxes, consider buying multiple sets for yourself so that you can load enough pills for two weeks or more at each sitting. Put on some music or watch a favorite television show (but not too intriguing; you must keep focused on your task!) to help make the tedious task more enjoyable.
Keep Your Medications Out And Visible
If you’re taking daily medications, then they’re a part of your daily life, right? So place your pillbox in an area of your home that you use every day. Put it in a basket on the breakfast table, for example, or on the counter next to your coffeemaker. Or place it on the sink counter in your bathroom, or on a shelf in your medicine cabinet next to your toothpaste. The point is to make sure the pills are kept in a place where you will see them every day, at about the same time each day. And the best locations are ones where a glass of water will be right at hand.
Note: Of course, if there are small children in your home, even if just occasionally, be sure to place your medications out of reach of little hands.
Use An Electronic Nag – Your Smart Phone Alarm
If you’re one of those people who tends to “stop seeing” what is in front of you every day, you might need more than plain old visibility to help you remember to take your medications. In that case, set a repeating alarm on your phone to go off at the time that you’re supposed to take your medications. You can even label the alarm with a note: “Take Your Meds!” It may sound silly, but this method works for a lot of people, especially those who tend to get lost in thought and become somewhat unaware of their surroundings.
Use The Power of Association
If you’re supposed to take your medications at mealtime, then make it a ritual to take your pills with a glass of water when you sit down to eat and before you take your first bite. Or always pour a glass of water when you pour your first cup of coffee, so you take your pills first thing in the morning. If you’re supposed to take medications in the evening, you might associate the 10:00 news with taking your pills. You can even keep a pillbox next to the television remote control to help you remember.
Use The Newest Techie Tools
Did you know there are medication-monitoring bottles that connect with your smartphone to help remind you to take your medications? With these specially-rigged bottles and the right app on your phone, you can set up customized reminders such as bottles that light up or sound chimes when you’re supposed to take your pills, or calls or texts that automatically come in to your phone that remind you to take your medication.
Engage the Help Of a Loved One
We’re not advising you to put the responsibility of taking your medications onto someone else, but it can be helpful to have someone in your life who is aware of your medication schedule and will nudge you to keep on it. If you and your spouse are both on daily medications, you can make something of a game out of it: Who will be first to ask, “Did you take your pills today?” And when you’re asked, will you be able to “win” by answering, “Yes, I did!”?
Information for this article was partially obtained from 1st Class Medical.