There are several innovations available to help seniors organize and remember to take their medicines. Although not necessary for many older adults managing multiple medications, some can benefit by having their medicines pre-sorted and dispensed in pouches that are organized by time of day and day of week. We’re moving to a system like this as Mother’s filling a 28 compartment pill tray with 14 prescribed medicines and OTC pills each week becomes even more challenging with her aging. This pre-loaded dispensing solution has been used in nursing homes and some hospitals for several years, but some companies are now offering the program to individuals in their residences. But before making any change of this type, be sure to check the Medicare Part D prescription medicine plan to be sure the vendor is recognized in the insurance company’s plan.
Other higher-tech aids are in development that include pill trays that automatically open at the right time and track results (although it is impossible to remotely know if the pills were actually taken). We’ll be seeing more use of technology in assisting with eldercare- something I imagine caregivers will welcome wholeheartedly. Many developments are underway by inventors and large health technology companies, and I’ll use a future blog to describe some of the more promising ones.