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ND Assistive | Assistive Technology Blog

Medication Management: Where to Start to Keep a Loved One Safe

The path to successful medication management (MM) can be hard if you do not know the questions to ask or the assistive technology (AT) available.  We have been helping people at IPAT for many years in the area of medication management and below are some of the questions we ask and the AT solutions that might work.  If you are having difficulty with this process for yourself or someone you know, please contact us at 800-895-4728 or info@ndassistive.org. Check out a great medication management success story here.

Questions to Ask

Before starting a search for a device or app to help with MM, we need to ask questions. These ten are a great start:

  1. Does the person need a dispenser, reminder or both?
  1. If they need a dispenser, does it need to be locked?
  1. Are there people in the person’s life that might misuse the medication, requiring it to be locked up?
  1. How many times does the person need to take medication per day?
  1. How big of a space is needed for the pills at each dose? How many pills per dose and how large are the pills?
  1. Do they have medication that does not fit into a dispenser such as insulin or creams?
  1. How is the hearing, vision, memory, dexterity, and attention span of the person?
  1. If the person can retrieve it from the dispenser, do they still need prompts to take the pills?
  1. Does the person need help filling the dispenser? If so, how often is someone available to do this or to do a compliance check?
  1. Do you want a confirmation notice that the person took their pills?

Medication Management Systems

There are many different AT solutions that can help medication adherence.  The following are some that we have used with our clients and some that we have researched.

Locked Medication Dispensers

These devices are just two of the many different locked medication dispensers on the market.  Many devices have a version like the MedReady that will call a service when non-adherence occurs for an additional monthly fee.

 

Unlocked Dispensers with Reminders

The following are several dispensers with alarms.

Reminder Watch

The Watchminder can not only vibrate to alert you with up to 30 alarms per day, but it provides a personalized message on the face of the watch such as TKE MEDS or INSULIN.  I wrote a blog a while back on it here.

Other Reminder Devices

Apps for Smartphones

The following apps are all FREE and have the capability to provide reminders to take meds, send notifications to others when there is non-compliance, and many more.  We will be discussing these further in future blogs.

Smart Watches

A Smart Watch can enhance the capabilities of a smart phone.  For example many women who keep their phone in their purse and may not hear an alarm go off thus forget to take their medications.  A smartwatch connected to a smartphone will vibrate on the person’s wrist when it is time to take their medications or insulin.

The following watches can receive notifications from medication apps or alarms set on the phone.  The Pebble and Apple Watch also have apps that can be added to them that work independent of the smartphone.  Meaning if the phone is dead, the person would still get a reminder to take their medications.  I wrote a blog a few months back regarding the Vivosmart Watch describing its capabilities.

Other Devices

Epill carries a great assortment of reminders and devices.

Further Reading

It Was Time for AT to Help Manage Medication

Recently an individual contacted IPAT in search of some assistive technology (AT) to help with medication management. She was looking for a watch or portable timer that could be set to countdown for a...


A ND Woman Stays out of a Nursing Home for $150!

According to an 2014 AARP study, 87% of seniors age 65+ want to stay in their current home and community.  In 2007, a rural North Dakota woman was feeling the same when she and her family sought a way...


Need a Medication Reminder?

"Is there something out there that would help my (mother, grandpa, son, friend) remember to take their medication? "  This is a question that IPAT staff fields frequently, and thankfully our response...


Use This Pill Box To Keep Up With Your Medication and Stay Active

Of all the assistive technology devices available, medication dispensers may be the area that can have the greatest impact on a person’s choice of residence. In some cases it may mean the difference...


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