Helping Your Loved Ones Manage Their Medications

Medication management is an often overlooked area of at home care. Many individuals don’t take their medications properly — often times because they simply can’t remember or they are overwhelmed by all the medications they are taking and the dosage rules that go with them. Managing medications can also be difficult and confusing for caregivers as well. Paul Brelo, writing for HomeCare Magazine, declares this trend a nationwide crisis. According to Brelo, a majority of the population take their medications incorrectly and “the estimated cost of medication mismanagement to the U.S. economy and health care system is approaching $300 billion annually.”

Medication mismanagement is a problem, and one that manufacturers are hoping to solve with personal medication reminders and dispensers.

Organize with the MedCenter System

MedCenter System

MedCenter System

One product that aims to curb the trend of medication mismanagement is the MedCenter System medication organizer. This unique system lets you organize your or your loved one’s medication for an entire month. It comes with 31 dated pill boxes and each one has four compartments — Morning, Noon, Evening, and Night.

Pill box with time-of-day and date indicators

Pill box with time-of-day and date indicators

To help you or your loved one remember when to take certain medications, you can set up to four talking alarms on the included large-display alarm clock. These alarms correspond to the four compartments on each pill box. The alarm announces the date and time-of-day (morning, noon, etc.) and reminds the individual that it’s time to take his or her medications.

MedCenter talking alarm clock

MedCenter talking alarm clock

The MedCenter System helps eliminate the confusion and makes it easier for individuals to take the right amount of medication at the right times.

A typical day using the MedCenter System

To illustrate how every day use of the MedCenter System can make it easy for your loved one to take his or her medications safely and correctly, consider this example of how the system works on a typical day.

Let’s say we have a woman named Brenda who wants a better way to help her mother, Francis, take her medications correctly. She purchases the MedCenter System and shows it to Francis, who is at first resistant to the idea that she even needs help taking he medications. But Brenda points out that Francis could be independent and healthier for longer if she would develop a better routine for taking her medications on time and in the correct amounts. Francis reluctantly agrees and thinks she might use it for a short time to satisfy her daughter.

What starts as a few days using the system with her daughter’s help soon turns into a few weeks–with Francis using the system all by herself. A typical day is as follows.

Francis always wakes up for breakfast around the same time every day. Since Brenda has set all of the alarms for the appropriate times, the first one sounds as Francis is preparing her breakfast. The talking alarm let’s her know that it’s time to take her first dose of medications for the day. She walks up to the counter where the MedCenter System sits and presses the red button, acknowledging that she has heard the alarm. She can tell by the indicators on the pill boxes that today is the 21st and that is the box she needs. She takes the box labeled 21 and sets it in the holder for today. She opens the compartment labeled “Morning” and takes the pills in that compartment. The pill box for today sits conveniently in the holder for use later on in the day.

Francis goes on about her morning. She doesn’t have to worry because she knows that the MedCenter System will let her know when it’s time to take the next round of medications. Around lunch time, the talking reminder lets Francis know that it’s time to take her middle-of-the-day medications. Again, she acknowledges that she heard the alarm and opens the compartment labeled “Noon.”

This process repeats itself for the “Evening” and “Night” doses. After taking her medication before bedtime, Francis places the pill box back in the storage section with the red end facing up to let her know that she has taken all her medications for the day. For Francis, using the MedCenter System is a simple routine that fits into her day and removes the burden of keeping track of her medications. For Brenda, it gives her peace of mind that her mother is taking the right medications at the right times.