Although his aunt has a paid caregiver who goes to her house every morning, it is Juan who has power of attorney over her affairs, and who makes sure all her bills are paid and her paperwork is in order. It is Juan who takes her out food shopping on the weekends to make sure her fridge is stocked for the week, and it’s Juan who makes sure she has new shoes and clothes when she needs them. But the biggest responsibility that Juan has for his aunt is making sure she takes her medications on time, every day. With the risk of high sugars from diabetes compounded by the memory challenges of dementia, Juan’s aunt was forgetting to take her medications. The outcome was regular trips to the Emergency Room, for Juan and his aunt.
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Hero: Time management help for caregiver Juan Martinez
When Juan Martinez’s aunt got really sick two years ago -- ending up in the hospital every couple of months with complications from her diabetes and dementia -- there was no question in his mind that he would step in as her caregiver. Juan wanted to make sure his aunt could stay in her own home for as long as possible with the least amount of disruption to her life. He assumed the role of primary caregiver, as she had no children of her own, knowing his time was soon to be stretched.
“I was looking for a way to help her become more compliant with her medication schedule to help us both save time, but I just couldn’t find a foolproof method,” Juan says. “I can only physically be there on weekends, so I needed a system that could take care of it on a daily basis.” He asked his insurance company if there was some kind of automated machine that would help out, and they recommended a pill dispenser with a buzzer. With the challenges his aunt faced, Juan knew this was never going to work. Besides, it wouldn’t give him the certainty he needed from afar to know she was actually taking her meds. This was when Juan discovered Hero, an in-home medication manager that automatically sorts, dispenses, and refills medications and supplements while keeping everyone connected via an app. “Now I see in real-time on a daily basis when she has dispensed her medications,” Juan explains, “and her diabetes is finally under check!”
Today, rather than receiving a call from the hospital, Juan simply gets a notification on his Hero health app if his aunt has skipped a dose of medication. A quick phone call to his aunt, and what could otherwise be an emergency situation, is quickly remedied. It’s bought Juan peace of mind, but more importantly, it's bought Juan time back in his busy schedule. As a triathlete with a full time, demanding job, time management is Juan's best friend. “Things like Hero help make it easier for you to take care of your loved ones,” Juan says. “I’m constantly trying to find the most efficient ways of doing what has to be done, and this has been a huge help, cutting down the amount of time we used to spend on the logistics of her pills.”
When you talk to Juan he raises a point that many caregivers feel -- caregiving is not a chore! As he explains, “Yes, it’s a lot of responsibility, but you do it because you love someone. You take it on, and you are glad to help. In fact, I like it because it helps me see my aunt more often.” However, Juan is quick to point out that if you can bring some efficiencies into the logistical side of caregiving, allowing for the time spent together to be quality time, then it’s a win-win for everyone!
Find out how we are making caregivers’ lives easier, here.