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Need a little help to take your pills as prescribed?

No matter your age, taking medication as directed is an essential part of a healthy life.

It feels like the older you get, the more tablets and capsules you may have to shake out of your pillbox. If you have certain kinds of illnesses, have some memory loss, or are just feeling overwhelmed with keeping track because of your busy life, you may need a reminder to take your medication regularly. Perhaps your vision isn’t getting any clearer and it can be difficult to read the captions on the bottle. Or maybe you’re on a fixed income, your budget’s getting tight, and you’re starting to think you can’t afford your prescription anymore. Regardless, all of us need to know when it’s time to refill our medications and a list of them readily available as a safety precaution.

No matter your situation, there are resources available to help make sure you are getting the correct medication, at the correct dose, and at the correct time.

Take a step beyond organizing your pillbox

You might feel like the only solution is to have someone tap you on the shoulder each time you are supposed to take the next dose. There are, however, many options to create easy reminders, make bottles more accessible, and get help paying for your prescriptions.

Accessible medicine

If you can’t get to the pharmacy regularly, you can arrange for your pharmacist to send your medications in the mail. If you need some help reading the little orange bottles, you can request them to be printed with larger text or get a special magnifying glass. Or, if you prefer, you can request bottles printed with braille. If you struggle with those hard-to-open lids, there are special, easy-open bottles available for homes without children.

Technology to help your memory

There are plenty of new gadgets that can help you remember to take your prescription. Some cell phones and watches have alarms you can set as a reminder. Voice-activated devices (like Amazon Echo and Google Voice) have medication reminder options. If you have a family member willing to help, but they live further away, they can help check on your medications with a remote-monitoring system. You can even get a special, talking pillbox to help you remember which medications to take when. You can explore more technological solutions at Tools for Life or ask empowerline about how to access assistive technology options.

Medication Safety

If you take one or more prescription medications, it is important to pay attention to the instructions on your medications. Take a minute to review this safety guide with tips for safe use of medications.

Talk to your doctor

If you are taking a lot of different medications at different times and it’s difficult to get into a routine, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor’s office should be able to help you organize your medicine, give you more information about drug reactions, and maybe even change your doses so that you don’t have to take so many pills. If you’re not sure what to ask your doctor, you can use this pamphlet from American Heart Association to help prepare for the conversation

Get some help with the cost

If you need some assistance paying for your medicine, you have multiple options:

  • Help may be available through Medicare. You can get prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D. To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan run by an insurance company approved by Medicare. Medicare requires some premiums, co-pays and a deductible.  So, if you don’t have much income, you may be eligible for “extra help” to cover what Medicare does not through something called Low Income Subsidy. The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder is a tool where you can enter your medications and get cost comparison of plans based on that information. To understand more about Medicare options in Georgia and how to apply, contact GeorgiaCares. They can answer your questions and concerns about getting coverage or changing your coverage.
  • Don’t qualify for Medicare prescription drug coverage or still need additional help with covering what Medicare does not?
    • Check whether you qualify for Georgia Medicaid.
    • Explore Medigap plans to cover costs that Medicare does not. Georgia Cares can help you explore your options.
    • You can get some help from nonprofits. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need by connecting them to different medication aide programs.  Needy Meds has the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or healthcare costs. Rx Assist offers a comprehensive database of patient assistance programs, as well as practical tools, news, and articles so that health care professionals and patients can find the information they need.
    • You can also call pharmaceutical companies directly to see if they can discount some of the medications that they make.
    • Ask your doctor if free samples are available.

Need a little more help?

Contact empowerline—we’re here to help you manage your medications. Our staff can walk you through eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, and other options. We can help you understand what you are eligible for and connect you to more information.  If you have had a change in diagnosis, medication, or income, we can explore new solutions.

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