Next Thursday, October 21 is National Check Your Meds Day. It’s a time to review prescriptions and supplements with a pharmacist. Participating pharmacies will remove expired medications, update prescriptions as needed, and answer any questions. It’s a good moment to review what each medication does, how it can affect you, if you’re taking it correctly, and if there’s a more cost-effective alternative.
If you are a caretaker, or have an elderly loved one, this may be a great time to review their medications as well. As your loved one starts needing to take more prescriptions and supplements, it’s always advised to have them all written down, and brought to all doctor’s appointments. They should be organized per below and next to each should be dose, route, and frequency:
- Regular Prescription Medications
- Regular OTCs, Vitamins, and Supplements
- As Needed Prescription Medications
- As Needed OTCs, Vitamins, and Supplements
Some medications must be taken on an empty stomach, while others are best taken with food. The time of day can affect a medication’s effectiveness, or how you feel after taking it. Even certain foods or alcohol can have side effects with specific medications. These are all important to review and refresh in our minds from time to time.
“It’s a great reminder to not get stuck in our daily habits and to check in on routines once in a while.”
Medication Organization Systems
If you’re taking more than a chewy multivitamin and an occasional headache pain reliever, it may be helpful to have an organizational system. A printout on the refrigerator will work for some, while others prefer a free app on their phone that sends a daily reminder. For independent elderly a plastic pill dispenser can be handy, and for those needing a bit more management there’s devices such as the MedMinder.
National Check Your Meds Day was established in 2017 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is now sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association. It’s a great reminder to not get stuck in our daily habits and to check in on routines once in a while. My grandmother took a completely unnecessary medication for years, simply because no one reviewed her medications list for the longest time.
“Staying on top of what medications and supplements we take… keeps us happer, healthier, and living better longer.”
Live Better, for Longer
Staying on top of what medications and supplements we take is extremely important. It keeps us happier, healthier, and living better longer. Let your family, friends, and coworkers know that you will be participating this year, and that they should too.
LTC Consumer is a resource for long term care planning. We work with families to find the best option to protect their retirement and give them peace of mind. If you’d like to speak to a specialist about long term care insurance, request a quote, and create a strategy for your future today.