Classified as “the world’s other drug problem”. non-adherence to medication regimens accounts for more than 10% of older adult hospital admissions and one out of four nursing home admissions.
Approximately 200,000 people with treatable ailments die each year in the US because they do not take their medications properly. This could be because thirty to 50% of all patients ignore or otherwise compromise instructions concerning their medication. In the case of our seniors, much of this is due to confusion or forgetfulness. Perhaps this confusion is because more than half of our seniors take 5 or more prescription medications on average. That’s a lot to think about and manage for anyone of any age. This mis-management results in unwanted health consequences.
Any caring family member would (and should) do whatever it takes to see to it that their loved ones are assisted in managing this ever-important part of their lives. Some families hire a private duty nurse to visit and administer these medications. Most families simply cannot afford that luxury. Many take the time to personally manage their loved ones medications. This can be very burdensome and sometimes leads to un-intended mistakes. Let’s face it. We live in a busy world and busy lives. Inevitably, we are faced with delays. Life gets in the way.
Make A List, Check It Twice
Another issue we face are the multiple prescriptions older adults take. Sometimes our elders need to see specialists for different ailments. Doctors usually ask what other medications are being taken but many times, we are not equipped with all of the information. Perhaps a recent visit to another doctor resulted in a new prescription and we’ve failed to remember to tell him. It’s probably time to take a “prescription inventory.” Make a list of every medication, who prescribed it, when and for what condition and bring it to your local pharmacist. He will work with you to make sure there are no serious interactions and also to clarify the need for some of the prescriptions. Often, we are prescribed a medication but our doctors fail to tell us to stop taking it. As habits are formed, many of our older adults simply renew these meds.
So, once you have culled the list, how do we keep our loved ones on the right schedule? Pill boxes has been a popular choice. There has been an evolution of how pill boxes work. They give you a way to organize your pills by day. Little compartments labeled MON. TUES. …. you get the idea. There are now boxes which will light up on the correct day. A great improvement. However, most pill boxes are still somewhat confusing for seniors. It’s very easy to open the wrong compartment. Lastly, what if a medication is missed? How do you know?
AlwaysConnected Solutions now offers RxAlert which is designed to make medication management simple, secure and to provide a way to know that medications were taken. It is a locked device so that only the scheduled medication can be taken and it prevents tampering. Trays are preloaded with the proper doses and you can schedule up to 4 does a day. A tray will support 4 doses on each day up to 7 days. When it’s time for medication, the correct compartment starts to blink (light). If the compartment door is not opened in 30 minutes, the unit will start to beep. Another 30 minutes and you get a phone call and, finally a notification (email, text) of non-compliance is sent to a family member or some other designated recipient.
For more information, go to our website for pricing and more information.
Keep your family member safe by providing an affordable and simple way to manage their medications. Try RxAlert.