Taking medications incorrectly or forgetting to take medications is a common problem with the elderly. This mismanagement can lead to dangerous consequences that include injury, illness and even death. Luckily there are innovations that can help seniors and their families that are struggling with this problem.
According to the website for Epill.com a superior piece of technology is a machine that dispenses the medications for the patient and then broadcasts a verbal reminder to the person who needs to take the medication. If the medications were not taken then the machine notifies the person’s caregiver. These machines can be quite expensive and can go as high as $1000. However, there are some companies that are offering a monthly plan for these expensive but needed machines. According to Ashley Owens, a marketing representative for Phillips Lifeline they offer a “Lifeline with Reminders Program” that calls a patient to remind them to take their medications on a daily basis. Many families that are concerned about their elderly parents are choosing to purchase or rent one of these systems for their parents safety and their own piece of mind.
Of course, there are cheaper and simpler programs that help a person manage their medications. Some pharmacies are offering help with pre-filling a med planner for the patient. Some pharmacies like Giant Genie in Charlotte, NC offers medications that are packed in bubbles and all the patient needs to do is pop the medication out. According to the website for Giant Genie, they can customize the packs for a month or different times of days. For more information on the bubble packing check out their website at www.giantgenie.com/medpackaging.php.
Some med planners come with a built in beeper or alarm that goes off at a preset time. These planners can be found at almost any retail store that sells pharmacy items. However, one downside occurs when an elderly person has difficulty hearing. If the person cannot hear well then he/she may not know when the alarm is going off.
Of course, there is always the reliable plastic medication planner that you can get at your local pharmacy or retail store. This little planner has no high tech additions. However, it has worked well for many people for extended periods of time. These planners come with 7 compartments and have the days of the week noted on them. There are planners that have compartments for an entire month or even for the different times of day. Some elderly are able to keep up with their medications using this simple system.
There are many different choices for medication management. There is no need to continue to worry about someone taking their medications incorrectly or not at all. Therefore, if there is someone that comes to mind as having these kinds of difficulties then recommending one of these solutions may be helpful.
Ashley Owens, Phillips Lifeline (2009). www.lifelinesys.com
“Pill Dispenser” (2009). www.Epill.com
“Medication Packing”. (2009). www.giantgenie.com