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Guide to Medication Assistive Devices – Medication Aids for the Elderly

Managing your medication as you get older can be a real nuisance. Don’t you find your pills are too small to handle easily? Also, you probably get easily confused as to which ones you should take at what time. Luckily there are aids available to help you with your medications.

Why is Medication Management Important?

By the way, if you take medications regularly, you should make a list and keep it somewhere handy, preferably on your person. This allows emergency services to easily find out if you’re on medication.

RELATED: Medication management tips for seniors

Medication Aids

Pill Dispensers

Automatic pill dispensers help to organize your pills so that you always take the correct doses at the correct times.

Pill dispensers are usually based on a weekly cycle and have separate compartments for each day and each time of day. The commonest type has four compartments for each day so you can spread your pills throughout the day. This repeats for each day of the week. All you need to do is spend about half an hour each week reloading your pill dispenser for the following week.

Before putting different pills together in the same compartment, check with your pharmacist that this is ok to do. Some pills may react adversely if kept together.

What happens if your memory is bad or you have problems sorting out the tiny pills?

Multi-Dose Packaging

If you can’t load your own pill dispenser, you can ask your pharmacist to provide one for you. They will group all your pills together at the correct time with the correct dosage and place them into a ‘blister-pack’. Each section has the correct day and time marked on it.

Pill Splitter

If you have problems swallowing pills, you might have to break your pills into pieces. This is easier said than done, especially if you don’t have much strength in your hands. The solution is to use a splitter to do the job. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and are very simple to use.

Pill Puncher-Pill Remover

Many tablets come prepacked into a clear plastic blister on a foil backing card. You only have to individually press the blister to extract the pill. That’s great if you are strong enough to do it, but many seniors lack this strength. A pill puncher will do the job for you.

Pill Crusher

Sometimes you must add a tablet to a drink or mixed into food, especially if the patient has an aversion to taking pills or if they have difficulty swallowing. A pill crusher will crush any uncoated tablet into a powder that is so much easier to take. The crusher has a screw action that applies the necessary pressure to crush the pill.

Eye Drop Dispenser

Seniors don’t only take pills, many use eye drops too. The trouble is that often the plastic bottles are difficult to squeeze and it isn’t always obvious where you are aiming for. An eye drop dispenser will hold differently shaped eye drop bottles and allows a senior to easily squeeze and deliver the required dosage. The dispenser’s shape allows you to easily fit it against the eye for accurate application.

Measuring Aids

The traditional measuring spoon supplied with medicinal liquids such as cough linctus guarantees you have a correct dosage. However, it’s not very easy to hold if you have problems gripping or if your hands shake.

The way to deal with this problem is to use one of two different methods.

  • Small plastic measuring cups have five millilitres or one teaspoon graduations so you can take the correct dosage. However, you have to be conscious and able to handle a cup to use one.
  • A medicine syringe also has millilitre or teaspoon graduations but, you or your carer can squirt the medicine directly into your mouth.

What’s next?

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