4 Seniors: How to help aging parents manage their medications

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Anybody who juggles multiple medications can relate to the problem of forgetting to take a medication, or not remembering whether they already took it. This is especially true for older adults who take medications at varying times of the day.

Here are some different product and service solutions that may help.

Simple Medication Helpers

Getting organized and being reminded are the two keys to staying on top of a medication schedule. To help your parents achieve this, there is a wide variety of pillboxes, medication organizers, vibrating watches, beeping pill bottles and even dispensers that will talk to them that can make all the difference. To find these types of products, the best source is e-pill Medication Reminders, where you’ll find dozens to choose from.

Smart Pillboxes

There are also a variety of “smart” pillboxes on the market today that will remind your parents when they need to take their medicine and will send family members and caregivers notifications if they forget to take their pills, or accidentally takes the wrong ones. Three to consider here include:

  • Tricella ($95), which uses Bluetooth connectivity but requires that your parents have a smartphone with a data service or tablet with Wi-Fi.
  • PillDrill ($279), a comprehensive system ideal for strict medication schedules but requires home Wi-Fi.
  • MedMinder ($40 per month), that operates off a cellular network (no phone line or Wi-Fi necessary).

Single-Dose Packaging

Another way to help simplify your parent’s medication use is to get their prescriptions filled in single-dose packets that put all their medications (vitamins and over-the-counter drugs can be included too) together in neatly labeled packets organized by date and the time of day they should be taken. This does away with all the pill bottles and pill sorting. One of the top providers of this type of service is PillPack, an online pharmacy owned by Amazon.

Smartphone App

If your parent has a smartphone, there are apps they could use to help them keep up with their medication. One of the best is Medisafe, a free app that works on Apple and Android phones. Medisafe will organize your parents’ pills in one place, send them timely notifications to take their meds, and send them reminders to fill their prescriptions.

Caregivers can also connect with the Medisafe app to get notifications about when it’s time for their loved one to take their medication – and they can see whether or not it’s been marked as taken.

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