Ideas to remind seniors to take their pills! francy Dickinson
Dear Francy; I was just told that my dad could not be given dementia medications because he lives alone and might forget them. I guess they need to be given in a timely manner. Do you have ideas for helping him remember? He is in the early stages of dementia and still living on his own with my every other day visits. M. Catterin
PILLS PILLS EVERYWHERE! BUT NO PILLS TO TAKE?
Everyone, even mothers of young children, that take medications get confused over prescriptions. But if you get a few tips that work for you…it makes all the difference in the world. Let’s review some of the latest apps and helper tips for remembering to take pills.
My first rule is that a caregiver sorts the pills and gets them in order each week. This way, its a once a week chore…you know if the supplements have to be re-ordered or the prescriptions called in and that is done by the adult in the room. Honestly…this is the first hurdle to tackle. Now, many seniors like to open each bottle each day…that is NOT how you handle medications or supplements. You sort them into an extra large container and you set up the different ways to remind the senior to take them. I would suggest that if your mum or dad is over seventy, even if they have no real signs of memory loss, I would still tell them that you are taking over this chore for them. It is simply a way to know what has been taken, why they are taking the medication and when it has to be taken. Then you choose a reminder procedure and it’s in the bag. If your senior gets ticked off that you are pushy about this…too bad. This is the beginning of caregiving for your elders. Once you set up the procedure it works and the senior is happy to have you come over each week to do the sort and fill. You can always get two containers and set them up every other week. But remember, long life means taking medications properly. If you think caregiving is hard now, you wait till your senior forgets meds and starts a slippery slope to get out of their physical comfort zone. Doctors assume you take the Rx that they give you….do not think they can be a babysitter. You must make sure that supplements for things like joint pain and allergies are taken daily, then add in the medication your senior has been given and their health will stay in a safe zone for a long time. (Google “Images of pill containers” to find a fabulous variety that fits your senior’s needs)
PILL REMINDER Apps AND Tools….GOOD STUFF!
Trying to remember to tell your senior to take their pills on time is simply awful. Its hard enough to remember your own daily supplements each morning…let alone to remind your mom or both of your parents. So the idea that services are there to do the reminders is FABOO as far as I am concerned.
Tip: If you have two people taking pills in a household. Find two different areas to keep the pill containers. Mark the container with their name and make them different colors. It’s really easy for an elder to grab the wrong container. So making the place each of them keep the container repeated daily; makes it easier. I actually took George’s pills (brain pills and all) one morning when I was so tired…I was in a panic and called the poison line to find out what to do. They told me to rest all day and I had to call my sister to come and help George while I kept down and quiet. It was just silly of me, so I separated my pills in a different room…so it would not happen again.
ECHO….Alexa comes to the rescue! I know that you may think an Echo for a senior that is not into using tech stuff is nuts. But I am telling you….it is important. All you have to do is buy it, install it and teach them how to use it. OK, I can see the look on your face from here. But we are talking about something important and your time to keep your parent informed and safe.
PILL TIME APP—- FREE from ECHO
Echo/Alexa can play music from an era that your senior enjoys and remembers. This can be a great way to calm them down in the 4’oclock Sundowners time…and get them ready to rest in the evening. It can also automatically read books from the Kindle platform so your senior can enjoy books without worry of having to read them and hurt their eyes. It can hook up to the door and allow the senior to see who is at their door and allow delivery people to actually get in with an unlock code to place deliveries inside the senior’s home. Please take time to really think over what Echo can do…its a good thing for us all! Alexa also can remind a senior over and over again with timers, turn off times and general knowledge. It also has the ability to remind the senior to take their pills. Pill Time is a free app or “skill” just go ahead and read about it at the Amazon site….its great!!
MEDISAFE – pill reminder app for both types of cell phones. Easy to use and very reliable. This app just gets better and better as you use it…please go and visit their site to get the idea. Click here.
MED MINDER – is a pill reminder system. You can choose the different level of pills reminders – it can be a one-time pill container purchase or you can add a monthly fee to make it into an interactive service. Best Click here that you take a look and see how it would fit your needs.
OK….HOLD ON THIS IS MY FAVORITE:
PILL PACK – Click here….you will love this idea – it has the pills all pre-packaged and they remind the senior and you do nothing. Perfect if you do not live close to your senior. It is how they order their medications. So go to the site and see it to believe it…I love it!
Now something that few people think about. You need to shop for your pharmacy for your pills. I like using Walgreens…but you will have different places near you. You want to make pills easy…so if they are sent to your house that is the best. But are they safe for a senior to go and get the pills? Could they be stolen from the mailbox…that makes things horrible! Because you only get insurance coverage for a month…missing pills have to be paid in full to replace. Now, the point is…take a list of your pills and call around to get the low price. You can do this through your insurance site or on the phone.
You can also use a simple app for your cell (Click Here) that will locate the lowest price outlet for each of your prescriptions. It’s called GoodRx. But, this means you will be running around town to get the best price on each Rx. If you want to save money, this is a great choice.
Better and easier is to use a pharmacy that you can drive to each month and get your pills. Don’t forget to check COSTCO and WALMART they have good prices and usually require a 90-day prescription from your doctor for the best price. Ask questions…find out…don’t throw medication money away.
Here is the secret: You have to ASK them to explain their pill prices and about their monthly reminder software that will help you reorder the prescriptions. You have a variety of ways to use these different software systems. Some of them you scan the pill container and it sends in the re-order. Some of them have your prescriptions on their computers and they call you and say; “Your Rx orders are available today after 2PM.” They are all different and they each have good things to help you save money and make the actual re-fill system as easy as possible. Take time to do the homework. You can save hundreds of dollars and loads of time. It’s worth your research time.
REMINDER APPS AND SERVICES….Rx low prices and ways to quickly re-order and pick up the full list of Rx’s every month. It may be something you have not had to do in your own life. But, it will be something that you do each month with your senior caregiving roll….so it’s worth taking time to match your own needs to your senior’s needs. Take time to teach them the pill reminder system so they use it with confidence and be kind to re-teach over and over again until they understand how to use the app or system. Remember if the price is important…many times a small pharmacy in a smaller area can be really a good price. You can also ask around your town and find the pharmacy that sells pills to care centers, they usually have a small shop that simply does the large senior care facilities and they will sell to you for almost a wholesale price. Your time could save you so much money. Talk to friends…talk to locals and find a place that is easy on you. If you have to spend extra time driving to get a good price…maybe the price is not worth your time. Work this out with your senior ahead of time…so the system is really comfortable for you both.
This is how you and your senior keep medications and supplements in order and in an easy to use a system that you choose or create. Good luck…this was always one of my chores that I did not enjoy…now the systems have gotten so great…it makes it easier for both you and your senior to stay healthy and happy…no more “I forgot to take it” 😉
Blessings on the time you always give to your senior…this stuff adds up and up during your years of senior care. It may seem overwhelming…but if you just take each problem and give it some time and research…you will find easy ways for you to always give good care. francy