5. ASK FOR HELP.
If you often forget to take your
medications, ask your provider if
it’s possible to simplify your
dosing regimen, or ask for help in
making a plan that ;ts your
lifestyle. “Sometimes the solution
is something as simple as a timer.
Other times, it requires looking at
regular meal habits and making
adjustments to a patient’s
schedule, if necessary,” says Renee
Cowan, RD, CDE, a diabetes
educator with Kaiser Permanente
South Bay Medical Center in
Harbor City, California.
You can also enlist another
person to help remind you when
it’s time to dose, but make sure
he or she is a positive, supportive
teammate. Otherwise, nagging
can be counterproductive and
annoying, says Mark Heyman, PhD,
CDE, a psychologist who runs the
Center for Diabetes and Mental
Health in Solana Beach, California.
A trusted helper can go a long
way. Debbie Blackman Rose of
Chagrin Falls, Ohio, sorts pills for
her husband’s 10 prescriptions into
a labeled to-go bottle for his
midday dose and in a pill caddy by
his bedside for night. “It helps both
of us. I know that he’s taking his
meds, and he appreciates that I
help him remember,” she says.
4. HAVE A SYSTEM OF REMINDERS. If you’re never
without an electronic watch or smartphone, set an alarm or calendar
event to alert you when it’s time to take your meds throughout the day.
Apps may help, too. One to try is Medisafe; the free app, which works on
both Apple and Android devices, allows you to input lists of your
medications, set reminders, and alert friends or family members if
you’ve forgotten to take your meds. The Mango Health app, also for
Apple and Android, gives an audio
reminder when it’s time to take
your meds and includes a “habits”
feature for tracking step count,
weight, and blood glucose.
For a fee, you can also hire a
service like SageMinder to make
one or more phone calls to you per
day to remind you to take your
start at $18.95 per month). If you
like gadgets, try MedCenter’s
;ve-alarm watch ($27.95) or talking
alarm clock ($39.95). Or go low
tech: Stick notes where you’re
likely to see them as you go about
your daily routine.
A NEW BEHAVIOR IS MUCH
EASIER TO ;MAKE; A HABIT
IF YOU PAIR IT WITH AN
;ALISON PHILLIPS, P;D