Technology Series: The Medication Management Dilemma

Non-medical in home care organizations are not permitted to assist with certain aspects of care, which many families truly need, because those tasks cross the boundary into medical care. Although home care aides (from any agency) are not permitted to pull the dosages out of a pill bottle to administer to a loved one, they can provide medication reminders and observe medication compliance. Many medication management problems that arise can be solved with technology tools or additional resources. Here are a few tools that may help your household overcome the medication management dilemma.

Problem: My mom is alert and capable of managing her own medications; however, her eyesight prevents her from reading the label on the pill bottle.

Solution: Talking RX is a small device that the pill bottle sits inside. By pressing and holding the green button the pharmacist, med manager, or family member can create a voice recording of medication instructions.

Where do I get it? : $19-$25 per bottle,

Problem: Dad is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. He really only needs a caregiver for a few hours per day, but we find without the caregiver there, he sometimes forgets his medications or he takes his medications twice. How can we prevent him from missing a dose or prevent a potential overdose without constant supervision?

Solution: This pill box holds one month’s medication dosages, up to 6 medications per day. The box remains locked and only dispenses single dosages at the scheduled time. It also sounds an alarm that beeps to notify your loved one that it is time to take their medications.

Where do I get it? : $59.99 at

Problem: My mom lives alone and I live out of state. We cannot afford to hire a medication manager or nurse who can refill her pill boxes?

Solution: PillPack is an online pharmacy that packs individual dosages into a sealed package that is marked with the date and time the dosage should be taken. Pillpack works with most insurance plans and charges your standard co-pays. The prescriptions are shipped to your home.

Where do I get it? :

Problem: I would like to know that our mom has taken her pills at the right time. Is there any way, I could be notified that meds were taken or that the dosage was missed?

Solution: Medminder is a pill box that has individual dosages locked in chambers that unlock at specified times and sounds an alarm to remind your loved one. The appropriate chamber also lights up to attract attention to the correct chamber. If that chamber is not opened in the right amount of time, a text message is generated to a designated emergency contact.

Where do I get it? : $59.99 per month.