It can be challenging for seniors to stay on track with their medications, but getting doses wrong or mixing up pills can be harmful to their health.
Understandably, managing medication can be stressful for seniors. It’s also nerve-racking for families who can’t be there around-the-clock, but want to ensure that their loved ones stay as healthy as possible.
If medication mistakes become more frequent, and consequently more dangerous, it might be time to talk about solutions that help an older adult stick to their medication schedule while staying more independent.
But talking about getting help or changing routines can be a tough conversation to have. To help the discussion go smoothly and be more productive, we share 4 practical tips.
1. Be honest
First, choose a time that’s convenient for your older adult for the discussion and make it clear that you’re coming from a place of love and caring.
Then, let them know that your top goals are to help them stay as independent as possible and to make everyday life a little easier.
Reassure and help them understand that having this conversation doesn’t mean that you don’t trust them or think they’re not capable of taking care of themselves.
Instead, you’re trying to actively support their lifestyle and hoping to make things easier.
2. Make it a 50/50 conversation
As you dive into the conversation, make sure it’s a two-way street.
For example, if you take over the conversation, that could make them feel belittled. That might cause them to become defensive and resistant – ultimately making it less likely that they’ll agree to any kind of assistance.
Instead, focus on working together to come up with a game plan that works for everyone.
Start by offering your initial thoughts and then listen while they share their questions, concerns, and other ideas.
Creating a collaborative environment will help them feel more comfortable with the idea and smooth the transition into a new routine.
When it comes to a sensitive discussion like this one, it’s wise to overcommunicate. That means speaking clearly and specifically.
Speaking vaguely or in generalities often leads to confusion and that can end up causing misunderstandings or resistance.
So, when you sit down with your older adult to go over their medication management, make sure you’re being specific when discussing their current medication routine and the challenges they’re having.
Once you both have a clear idea of what could be improved, you can work on finding solutions.
4. Consider a medication management device
The idea of a medication management device might sound complicated, but they’re not as difficult to set up and use as they might seem.
Most importantly, they’re an effective way to help seniors maintain independence and follow their doctor-ordered medication schedule.
There are a variety of medication management devices on the market, but what’s most important is to find one that truly takes care of your older adult’s needs – including features beyond just dispensing medication.
How Pria™ by BLACK + DECKER helps seniors and caregivers
There are many different options for medication management on the market, but Pria™ by BLACK + DECKER was designed to empower seniors to maintain their independence at home and ease the stresses of caregiving.
Pria is an automated medication dispenser and home health care assistant.
It’s a friendly voice-enabled tabletop robot that helps seniors take the right medication at the right time. It also has video calling and voice-assistant capabilities built right in!
Through the convenient mobile app, caregivers can see if their older adult is on track with their medication. And to protect privacy, Pria is HIPAA-compliant.
Pria walks you through the set up
To set Pria up, caregivers simply enter their older adult’s medication schedule into the mobile app and then, following Pria’s instructions, load the pills into the convenient pill chute.
During the filling process, Pria will describe which medication is to be loaded and automatically sorts the pills.
If your older adult takes medications such as liquids, insulin, or gummies that can’t be stored in the device, Pria can still remind them when it’s time to take their dose.
Pria dispenses medication and notifies caregivers
When it’s time to take medication, Pria uses facial recognition or a preset PIN number to dispense the pills to the correct person.
Once the pill cup is removed from the machine, the medication is taken, and the pill cup is replaced, caregivers can check the Pria mobile app and know that their older adult took their medication on time.
If a medication dose is missed, the caregiver will be notified through the Pria mobile app.
Pria also makes video calls and is a voice-enabled assistant
Pria is much more than just a pill dispenser. Caregivers also have the ability to start video calls with their older adult or ask questions about how the day went.
When you can’t be there in person, caregivers can call their older adult from the caregiver application or the older adult can say, “Ok Pria, call Susan” and the video call will start.
With valid permissions, those who may be worried about their older adult can also use the drop-in feature to enable Pria’s camera to check in with their older adult instantly.
If you’re curious about your older adult’s day, you can ask Pria a check-in question like, “Has my older adult had enough water today?” or “Has my older adult spent any time with friends or family today?”
Pria is also a personal search engine. Your older adult could say, “OK Pria” and ask for a weather update or nutritional information on their favorite foods.
Get $50 off your very own Pria at okpria.com with the code DAILYCARING50
About BLACK+DECKER: Pria is the first in a line of consumer products by STANLEY Healthcare and BLACK+DECKER to utilize technology in the home for aging in place. Since 1910, BLACK+DECKER™ has been setting the standard for innovation and design of power tools, outdoor yard care equipment, and home products. The inventor of the first portable electric drill with pistol grip and trigger switch, BLACK+DECKER has evolved from a small machine shop in Baltimore, Maryland to a global manufacturing powerhouse with a broad line of quality products used in and around the home. When homeowners have work to get done, they trust that BLACK+DECKER products will do the job efficiently and reliably. For more information on BLACK+DECKER products, visit www.blackanddecker.com or follow BLACK+DECKER on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.