What can help my mother remember to take her medication?

7 answers | Last updated: Apr 29, 2017
Reagan229 asked...

My mother keeps forgetting her medication, and keeps falling because of it. What is there out there to help remind her?

Expert Answers

As Founder and Director of Circles of Care, Ann Cason provides caregiving, consulting, and training services to individuals and public and private organizations involved in eldercare. She is the author of Circles of Care: How to Set Up Quality Home Care for Our Elders.

Frequent falls are a signal.  Something is not right in the environment.     So many of us are too proud to ask for help.   Some of us send a signal.  

Consider each fall as an sos.  Help! Help!   What should you look for?   Is it the body?   Is it the house itself.  Is it some problem with communication?  Or is it the mind.

In your mother's case, it appears to be the mind.  She cannot remember to take medication that helps.  You could call her each day to remind her.   If that does not work, perhaps she is rebellious and does not want to be helped. 

In either case, your mother needs more assessment about the difficulty.   But it is also important not to panic.   Even if it is a problem with her memory or with self destructive tendencies, it may be possible to get daily care for her----two hours a day-----with in her own home so that she does not have to make a major move into assissted living where medication is administered by professionals.

Thank you for asking this question. Don't hesitate to write back with more information.     It could just be that your mother wants to hear from you.  She might just want to know that you are there for her.   Maybe she will come to trust that what you provide in the way of support is your way of caring.  It can be done.   

Community Answers

Reagan229 answered...

We found the answer with a product called Responselink which is a Personal Emergency Response System that has built in Medication reminders and can even be set up where an operator will call mom and talk with her while she takes her medication, It can also have a medication dispenser set up with the box that if she does net open it when the alarm goes of It will notify the operator. This machine has solved the problem on both sides( her medication and her falling ) at an affordable price, It has worked out great! We found it on the web at Responselink.com

Djbard answered...

I am having a similar problem with my father and his forgetfullnees in taking medication. He has a pill box with an alarm, but sometimes does not hear it. Since he can hear the loud rign of the phone and will actually answer the house phone, I looked for an automated service that would call him to tell him to take his medication. I actually found a FREE product called YellowNoteRx.com. (Not sure how long the FREE will last.) It's easy to use, and sends a digital voice message to my father telling him it's time to take his medication. It also sends him email in case he's on the computer. So far, it's working! Try it at YellowNoteRx.com.

Lisa d answered...

We found a great product for my mother from MedMinder (http://www.medminder.com) that has solved our concern about her not taking her medication. It looks like a regular pillbox - but it flashes, then beeps, then calls her to take her medication. I am alerted on my cell when she hasn't taken her medication. Its worked great and my mom loves it now..and its made me feel better because we live so far away from her.

Careok1 answered...

You could try using Dr. Root's Med Minders for each dose.
It might work for her.

Rxjimbo answered...

I have a pill packaging machine (strip packaging) that sorts medications according to dose time (AM, Noon, dinner, bedtime). Each pack comes with a date, time and image indicating when to take the medications. www.rxtogomeds.com Seems to help some of our patients.

Heidipups answered...

Try the Philips Medication dispenser, my mother takes 6 doses of pills a day this machine / software set up can handle it and announce the dose, then she just pushes button, pills are dispensed (caregiver set up in my case every 9 days) if she misses a dose the machine in her home calls me to let me know there was no check-in or missed pills and I can respond appropriately. Here is their URL- I lease the machine/support from them: http://www.managemypills.com/content/