If you are caring for an aging parent, you are probably well-acquainted with their pill organizer. The treatment of chronic illnesses in the elderly commonly includes the long-term use of medications. But drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them, and about 50 percent of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed.
Just imagine you’re an 80-year-old veteran — wheelchair bound with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and a host of other comorbidities — who has been prescribed 17 different medications. There are many factors that could contribute to nonadherence, including poor communication between the patient and the health care provider and difficulty opening the drug packaging.
However, one of the most common patient factors affecting medication adherence is working memory. Although age-related changes in memory are normal, if a patient frequently misses his medications, the chronic diseases may not be well controlled and may even result in progression of the disease.
So how do you make sure Dad takes two red pills and one white pill after breakfast every day? In addition to providing education about his medications and disease and packing his pills individually for ease of consumption, it can also be helpful to simplify the regime and provide reminders throughout the day.
Reminder Rosie is a personalized voice reminder alarm clock that was designed to provide a simple way to remind older adults to take their medications. Instead of constantly nagging about medication adherence, simply record up to 25 reminders to help your loved one never forget to take their medications again.
According to a government homecare agency in Toronto, 86 percent of patients with poor medication adherence achieved a compliance rate of 80 percent or greater after using Reminder Rosie for only three months. The projected annual savings from time spent by homecare professionals ranged between $3,000 and $6,000.
Joe Yezzi’s father is a 90-year-old World War II veteran who has problems remembering appointments, but Yezzi lives far away and is unable to check in on him as often as he’d like. For Yezzi, Reminder Rosie eases his stress and allows him to keep track of his father’s schedule and required tasks while also helping his father maintain his healthy routine and reduce hospitalizations that are linked to medication issues.
“Whether it’s a daily reminder to take medication or a recorded voice reminder to attend church on Sunday, Dad has a new reliable friend, and I have peace of mind,” Yezzi says.
If you want to ensure adherence to the medications prescribed so that your loved one receives maximum therapeutic benefits, learn more about Reminder Rosie and other health connection products for seniors.