Managing Medications

Managing Medications article image

Managing Medications Contributed by: Danielle Marvel, Elder Law Department Manager

Last year I unexpectedly lost my mother. It was quickly apparent that my father didn’t only lose his loving wife, but also his life manager. Among many other tasks, she managed the household bills, doctor’s appointments, and my father’s medications. My father needed help with all the tasks my mother previously managed, and I needed to help him while living under a different roof and maintaining my own responsibilities.

Mine are challenges that many family caregivers face. Of the things caregivers help with, managing medications can often be the most complicated priority. Those in our care might struggle with taking the right medication, the right dosage, or even remembering to take the medication at all.

Some families still fill a pill box once a week, but this method still requires the caregiver to remember to fill it, the person in care remembering to take the pills, and for someone to remember to refill the medication when it’s running low. Some pharmacies offer pill packets that presort medications for a month but there is still the need to remember to take the medicine.

My research led me to a tool that is making my job as a caretaker a bit easier. Hero Health is an automated medication dispenser. It can hold up to 10 medications in pill form and as much as a 90 day supply of each. The Hero Health machine can be programmed to dispense medications at set times each day. The medications will dispense into a cup and the machine will beep until the cup is removed and the pills taken. I knew immediately that the beeping feature reminding my father that it’s medication time would be priceless.

The dispenser requires a passcode to enter the chamber holding the medicine so there’s no risk of accidental overdose. The best feature might be the Hero Health app. It alerts me via my phone if a dose is missed or if a medication is getting low. Now I can help take care of my father from afar. There is an initial cost of $99.99 for the dispenser, though there was an offer for $50 off, making the initial investment $49.99. There is also a monthly subscription cost of $29.99. If you cancel the subscription within a year you do have to return the machine. While the monthly subscription could be a hinderance for some families, for me it is worth the peace of mind to know my father is receiving his correct medications daily and on time. Maybe it could be for you too.

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