It is well-established that a combination of lifestyle changes and prescription medications is needed for effective heart disease management for you or your family member. Successfully adhering to the prescription plans can significantly reduce the risk of your or your family member’s heart disease from getting worse and potentially life-threatening.
However, busy personal and professional lives can get in the way of taking your medications on time. If you’re a caregiver for a loved one with a heart disease, it can be even more challenging to remind your loved one to take their medications while juggling with your own daily activities. Here are few tips to help you or your family member successfully adhere to the prescription plans:
- Anchor taking your medications to an activity you do everyday like after brushing your teeth or after having your meals. Once you sustain this habit, it’ll be almost impossible to think about doing these activities without thinking about taking your medications.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a post-it note! Stick post-it notes around the house like on the refrigerator door, near the kettle, on your mirror, on the bedroom or living room door, or near the TV.
- Set up reminders or alarms on your phone or electronic tablets to help you remember to take your medications, or to remind your loved one to take their medications.
- If you’re not tech-savvy, creating a calendar or keeping a diary can also serve as effective reminders, especially when treatment plans are complex. Include the exact days and times you’re or your family member is supposed to take each medication. Do remember to keep your calendar or schedule in a visible location.
- If several pills need to be taken in a day, it is worth getting a pillbox. Its separate compartments can help you organize all the pills and will also help you keep track of the medications. Keeping the pillbox in a visible location is also a good reminder to take your medications.
- Schedule the refilling of your pillbox at the same time each week (for example, after your morning walk on a Sunday). An empty pillbox may prevent you or your family member from taking the medications at the intended time.
- Involve your family and friends in reminding you about your medications. They would be more than happy to be a part of your journey towards effective heart disease management.
- Sometimes, simply making a pledge to commit to taking your medications can be greatly motivating. An example of a pledge can be something along these lines: “I will take [drug name] for three months to help me remain heart-healthy for my family”. Writing or printing this pledge and having it stuck on a visible location can serve as a reminder of the commitment you made.
- Keep in touch with your or your family member’s doctor if adhering to the medications is still a struggle. They can help reinforce the importance of the prescription plan and can ease any worries you may have.
Taking your heart disease medications as prescribed is of utmost importance to ensure good disease outcomes and to prevent the worsening of heart disease risk factors. Uncontrolled heart diseases can bring about financial burden and stress on your family members and loved ones. So, following some of these simple tips can make the process of managing your or your family member’s heart disease easier. Don’t take it easy with your or your family’s heart health!
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