Introduction to Medication Management for Older Adults
Taking daily medication becomes a norm for many as we age, especially when dealing with various health conditions. However, managing multiple meds, understanding the dosing schedule, and combating the increased likelihood of medication errors due to 40% of seniors reporting memory issues and 64% experiencing vision decline can be daunting .
Thankfully, pill dispensers for seniors, like the automatic pill dispenser systems such as Hero, are revolutionizing the way older adults and their family members manage medications.
The Challenges of a Traditional Pill Organizer
Taking medication straight from the original prescription bottle can cause problems for seniors who have vision, memory, and dexterity issues. The small text can be difficult to read, it's all too easy to forget a dose, and the bottles themselves can be hard to open.
Even if a caregiver helps with the medication schedule, trying to get a handle on medication schedules and pill organizers can become a formidable task. Polypharmacy, which is common for elderly people, also increases the potential for missed doses.
Pillboxes, which contain small containers for the time of day or day of the week, once appeared to be the optimal organization tool, but these bring their own set of challenges. The small nature of these compartments may be too small for your daily pill needs. Similar to the original prescription bottles, the compartments can also be difficult to open, especially when considering that almost half of the senior population in the U.S. has arthritis . But the biggest issue of all remains the fact that these boxes only hold one week of medication at a time, meaning someone -- whether that's the patient or the caregiver -- needs to both remember and take time to refill the pill box with the right meds every week.
Finding the Best Automatic Pill Dispenser
The most difficult part of taking many medications is remembering to take them at the right time. When all medications are taken at once, it can be a simple process, but this often isn't the case when dosing ranges from once to twice to thrice daily, and some pills need to be taken with meals or before bed.
With so many factors involved, it's easy to see why having effective reminders are so important.
Alarm clocks are one of the oldest tools to make sure something gets done on time. In the modern era, most smartphones let you program multiple alarms right into the phone. Unfortunately, as with old school alarms, it's all too easy to hit "snooze" or just turn off the alarm altogether without actually getting out of bed or up from that comfy couch.
Another option are pillbox alarms, which are essentially standard plastic pillboxes with a small alarm clock built into it. With a limitation of just two alarms on most models, however, this option is rarely an option at all for users taking several different medications.
Most of these solutions fall short due to limitations like too many pills for compartments, lack of loud alarms, or being too complex and not user-friendly. This is where automated medication dispensers like Hero step in, providing a complete medication dispensing solution.