According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 50 percent of patients do not take their medications as prescribed. It’s estimated in the United States that among seniors the percentage is even higher. More than 80 percent of seniors regularly take two or more prescription drugs (and 50 percent take four or more). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 55 percent of these seniors are non-compliant when it comes to taking their medication.
This is a serious problem that leads to return trips to the hospital and adversely affect the long-term health of seniors and others relying on medication. In fact, the WHO stated in a report on medication adherence that “increasing the effectiveness of adherence interventions may have a far greater impact on the health of the population than any improvement in specific medical treatments.”
In other words, simply taking medicine in the proper dosage and at the correct time would greatly curb medical emergencies, rehospitalizations and even death.
Fortunately, at Home Helpers® Home Care, we have a way to help keep your senior loved ones healthy through proper medication through our line of Direct Link® products and services.
First, our MedReady medication dispenser system is designed to contain up to four weeks of medication. This clever device can be programmed like an alarm clock to make medications available. When it’s time to take a medication, the locked lid will pop open (the lid is locked to prevent double dosing), and an alarm will sound that notifies the client that it’s time to take the medication. If the client is napping or doesn’t hear the first alarm, it will continue to sound until the medication is removed.
And here’s something I really like about MedReady: You or a family member can drop it off at the pharmacy and they will fill the MedReady dispenser and have it set up for you! Pick it up, plug it in and you or your senior loved one will have peace of mind knowing that all mediations are being taken properly and on time. Oh, and about plugging it in? Don’t worry – each unit comes with a battery back-up, so if the power goes out, the unit will continue to supply medications at the appointed time.
Direct Link also offers other solutions, such as online monitoring (aka “telehealth”) for vital measurements such as weight (using a connected weight scale); blood pressure (connected blood pressure cuff); oxygen saturation for COPD patients (connected pulse oximeter); and even blood glucose levels for diabetes clients with a connected glucometer. All of these measurements can be taken at home, with the information transmitted directly to your doctor’s office to provide up-to-the-minute health information that can be monitored effectively.
Finally, one very successful and cost-effective Direct Link add-on feature is Wellness Checks. Professionals from our call and monitoring center will work with you to create a schedule of daily calls that can be used to make sure your loved one is up in the morning, taking their medication at prescribed times or just inquire as to how they’re feeling overall. This daily check-in is greatly appreciated by many families because it offers additional peace of mind through daily contact.
If you or a loved one is concerned about taking the right medication at the proper time in the correct dosage, I hope you will contact your local Home Helpers Home Care office to learn more about how our line of Direct Link products can help provide a solution.