If you struggle to remember your medication, here’s the key to making sure you take every dose exactly when you need to.
Lots of people forget to take their medication, with over 50% of people admitting that they frequently miss doses. This is a concerning statistic, as missed doses increase the risk of hospital admissions and uncontrolled illness. For those who have to take several medications on a regular basis, it can be a challenge to stay on track. Life gets in the way and doses get missed. Here’s how to use a medication reminder strategy to stay on top of the game.
Don’t rely on memory, make it a habit.
All of us are vulnerable to forgetfulness. It’s a human condition that can be incredibly frustrating at times. If you’re someone who’s prone to the odd lapse in memory, the chances are you’ll miss your doses from time to time, too. The trick is not to leave it to memory.
Forming healthy habits can have a huge impact on our well-being, whether it’s drinking water or waking up early for a morning walk. When you do something at the same time every day, it becomes routine. Our bodies then perform these routines subconsciously, without having to remember. For example, you probably brush your teeth in the morning and make your breakfast without thinking twice about it, right? This is because they are part of your routine. To make sure you take your medication properly, make that a habit, too. That way, your forgetfulness won’t be of detriment to your health.
How to form habits
Okay, so now that we understand the value of making good habits, here’s the hard part: changing our behaviour. This takes commitment, but your health is worth it. Taking your medication every day at the correct time will make you less vulnerable to ill health and less likely to need medical intervention. Here’s how to go about it:
1. Have a goal in mind
In order to change your behaviour and take your medication properly, you have to have something to work towards. Why are you making a lifestyle change? Is it to have better control of your condition? Is it to get a good night’s sleep or to have more energy to exercise? We all have our personal health goals. Write your goal down and put it somewhere prominent in your home, on your desk or save it as your phone background.
2. Dedicate the time
Forming a habit is thought to take around three to four weeks. So, pledge to give it at least this long. Remember that you’re putting in this time to form good habits for the rest of your life. Your health is worth persevering for.
3. Remind yourself until you don’t need to
Until you take your dose without thinking, set up a medication reminder on your phone. Set an alarm for the same time every day and call it something like ‘morning dose’ or ‘lunchtime dose’. PillTime pouches are labelled with clear timestamps, so they work well with alarms. Eventually when your habits are ingrained in your routine, you won’t need this reminder, but you can always use it if you need that extra reassurance.
4. Use your routines
If you always remember to brush your teeth in the morning, and you have a morning dose of medication, pair the two together. The best way to add medication into your life is to make it fit seamlessly into your daily routine.
5. Focus on one thing at a time
Changing your lifestyle takes a lot of discipline. Don’t go too broad with your goals. When you’re trying to stick to a mediation routine, make that your focus. When you’ve conquered that, you can think about adding in some other healthy habits.