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Special Section


Senior Living: Having trouble keeping up with medications?


Senior Living: Having trouble keeping up with medications?


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May 22, 2013
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Anybody who juggles multiple medications can relate to the problem of forgetting to take a medication, or not remembering whether they already took it. If you have a difficult time keeping up with your medications here are some different tips and tools that can help.

Medication Helpers

Getting organized and being reminded are the two keys to helping seniors stay on top of their meds. To help achieve this, there are a wide variety of inexpensive pill boxes, medication organizers, vibrating watches, beeping pill bottles and even dispensers that talk to you that can make all the difference. To find these types of products go to epill.com (800-549-0095) and forgettingthepill.com (877-367-4382) where you’ll find dozens of affordable options.

If you need a more comprehensive medication management system there are several good options here too. One of my favorites is the Maya from MedMinder, a computerized pill box that will beep and flash when it’s time to take your medication, and will call you if you forget. It will even alert you if you take the wrong pills. This device can also be set up to call, e-mail or text family members or caregivers letting them know if you miss a dose, take the wrong medication or miss a refill. Maya is available at BestBuy for $179 or at medminder.com. The monthly service fee is $29.95.

Some other good medication management systems worth a look at are TabSafe (tabsafe.com, 877-700-8600) and the Philips Medication Dispensing System (managemypills.com, 888-632-3261), both of which will dispense medicine on schedule, provide reminders and will notify caregivers if your pills aren’t taken. These systems run under $100 per month.

Reminding Services

Another option that can help you stay on top of your meds is to use a medication reminding service. These are services that will actually call, e-mail or text you reminders of when it’s time to take your medicine and when it’s time to refill your prescriptions. Some even offer extra reminders like doctor and dentist appointments, wake-up calls and more.

Companies that offer such services include mymed schedule.com, which provides free medication reminders via text message or e-mail. Their website can also help you make easy-to-read medication schedules that you can print out to follow. Other similar companies worth a look are rememberitnow.com which also offers free text message and e-mail reminders and pillphone.com which charges around $4 per month.

If, however, you don’t text or use a computer, OnTimeRx (ontimerx.com, 866-944-8966) or Snoozester (snoozester.com) may be the answer. With starting prices ranging between $4 and $10 per month, these services will call you on your home or cell phone (they can send text messages too) for all types of reminders including daily medications, monthly refills, doctor appointments and other events.

Or, if you’re looking for extra help, services like Care Call Reassurance (call-reassurance.com, 602-265-5968) or Care-Calls (parentcarecall.com, 888-275-3098) may be a better fit. In addition to the call reminders to your phone, these services can be set up to contact a family member or designated caregiver if you fail to answer or acknowledge the call. Care Call Reassurance costs $15 per month if paid a year in advance, and CareCalls costs $39 per month plus a one-time activation fee of $99.
 

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