Any good pill dispensers for elderly?
October 18, 2008 1:53 PM   Subscribe

Are there any good products that help an elderly woman remember when to take her pills and which pills to take?
posted by bucksox to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some pharmacies can dispense medications in blister paks called a Mediset. Here is one pharmacy that does it with an explanation of the service. Or you can get a pill box at any drug store and have a trusty family member set it up each week.
posted by coolsara at 2:07 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here is a site w/ a pill case and attached reminder can buy additional pill containers to go w/ it. I've seen other such products on Amazon and some drugstore sites. Dunno if this is just what you are looking for but some creative googling will find you various similar offerings.
posted by mumstheword at 2:18 PM on October 18, 2008

Nothing works better than another human in this case.
posted by watercarrier at 3:02 PM on October 18, 2008

I'm not elderly but I do have numerous meds to take. What I do is set the calendar in my cell phone for each med and what time to take it. Works great for me.
posted by Jules22871 at 6:01 PM on October 18, 2008

I'm not elderly, but I'm a computer nerd and am prone to forgetting things and not following through.

I've worked with my doctors to get most of my meds where I just have to take a whole handfull of pills at night, and I use a garden-variety bought-at-cvs S-M-T-W-T-F-S divided pill container.

My grandparents, who are elderly, have their pills on the same schedule as well.. but since they're older, they have things that they take at four individual times every day. Both of them wear digital watches with alarms set for their 'pill time' (Grandpa's also includes one at 4pm for "martini hour") and both of them carry small, pocket-sized divided pill containers with different compartments for the time of day. They both have a big master pill container in their bathroom that they fill once a week.

Making it as brainless as possible is good. If she already has these tools at hand and she's still missing pills, then you need to get a human involved who will be there for her.
posted by SpecialK at 6:12 PM on October 18, 2008

The weekly pill box is indispensible. If medicines are given twice a day, a box with 2 compartments per day is used. If three times, then the box must have 3 compartments per day.

The point of this is twofold:

1) You load it up all at once for the week. Takes a few minutes, but then you're set.

2) It makes the process brain dead for the rest of the week. Open compartment at set time, take contents. No trying to remember which pill is taken in what quantity at what time.

3) If you forget whether you have taken any particular pills, the box tells you. This is possibly the most useful feature of the box. It reduces accidental double-dosing and allows people to notice if they are consistently missing doses.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:56 PM on October 18, 2008

Some pharmacies can dispense medications in blister paks called a Mediset. Here is one pharmacy that does it with an explanation of the service.

Lots of good ideas here but this is easily the best. Virtually any major pharmacy provides this service, and it's as foolproof as you're going to find.
posted by Neiltupper at 11:42 AM on October 19, 2008

Response by poster: I really like the idea of the Mediset. It is difficult for a family member to get to my grandma once a week to sort her pills and she is not capable of doing it herself. It would be great if there was a pharmacy near her that did that (it would be even better if the Mediset came with an electronic reminder).
Is there a website that specializes in products for the elderly? On top of medicine issues, she needs a new phone with picture speed dial. I am surprised how hard these products are to find when it seems like there should be a pretty large demand for them given the number of elderly in the country.
posted by bucksox at 3:21 PM on October 19, 2008

I found a picture phone and more pill organizers here. Hope that helps.
posted by coolsara at 9:44 AM on October 20, 2008

Response by poster: Great thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by bucksox at 10:29 PM on October 20, 2008

Sure, there are web sites that specialize in these products.

There's Gold Violin, MaxiAids, LiveOn Network, and SeniorShops, to name a few.
posted by jeri at 10:33 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

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