Remembering to take your medication can be difficult at the best of times- but must be really tough if you are unwell in any capacity- short or long term. There are many conditions which make opening a medicine or pill bottle cap very difficult, such as arthritis or Parkinson’s Disease, as well as pushing a tablet through foil can be tricky if you have poor mobility in your fingers or hands. There are many devices to help with this.
If we only take one pill a day, say in the evening, it can be hard late at night to remember if you have in fact taken it or whether it was actually last nights you are remembering. Imagine how much of a concern it is for the family of someone with Dementia or Alzheimer’s to know if the dose has been taken/given or for someone who is taking maybe 10 or more different pills, at 2 to 4 different times of the day.
Some pharmacies can supply your prescribed medication in some form of Monitored Dosage, though some find it difficult to push the pills out - so an easy to open and close pill organiser is a great product. For those without that option, we can use tablet / pill organisers or pill reminders for almost any combination of doses of medication.
Medication organisers make it much easier for people trying to remain in their own home with the help of family or with outside carers calling in one or more times a day as everyone involved can see if a dose has been missed. It is important that one person is responsible for organising the pill box with the appropriate medication dosage.
These handy little things can be used for organising vitamins and other non-prescription pills, and there is a pot (MedPot) with a lid in multiple colours, for liquid medication with measure markings up the side.
A medicine dispenser specifically for someone with memory issues with a timer that can be set for the time the dose is due. A tone sounds, and rings until the medication has been taken out of the only open compartment ensuring no other pills can be taken until the next alarm goes off.
Taking medication can be quite stressful or worrying for some people and any of these containers can help with this problem.
Other types of pill boxes include:
• Small ones with 2 or 4 compartments - ideal to carry in a pocket or handbag on a day out.
• A slightly larger one that has 7 compartments, one for each day of the week, these come in various sizes to cater for multiple pills.
• Some have moveable dividers and come in a coloured wallet e.g. Medidos.
• Some have sliding lids like the Medimax and some have pop up lids.
• Some lids have braille markings on them for the visually impaired.
• There are some which allow for 2 doses a day (am/pm) for a week and some of these split into separate days or just separate weeks. (14 compartments)
• There are quite a few which have 4 compartments per day labelled ‘Breakfast’, ‘Lunch’, ‘Tea’, ‘Bed’ and show the day at the top of each column.
• There is a Pill Tower that has 7 flat pots in a holder, one per day, each with 4 compartments. You slide out the bottom pot in the morning and when you have taken all 4 doses the empty or refilled container goes back in on the top of the other 6.
Various coloured pots containers or organisers are available so if there is more than one person in the house on medication they can be easily distinguished or if someone is colour-blind or visually impaired.
All in all- there are a few different solutions to cope with an increasingly problematic situation- creating a little bit less stress for patients and carers.