If you value your health and independence, you know it’s important to take medications exactly as your doctor prescribes. Yet improper medication management can get in the way of independent living, creating stress for you and your loved ones.
With the complexity of medications many seniors take, it’s no surprise that 1 in 10 hospital admissions for seniors are a result of medication errors and 40% of nursing home admissions are associated with medication non-adherence. Morris Hospital offers a Medication Dispensing service to help individuals maintain the proper medication schedule using an automatic, personal pill dispensing unit that accurately dispenses medicine at designated times using an alert system.
The home medication dispensing program is available through a monthly subscription fee and is most beneficial for seniors who have complex medication regimes and want to continue living independently. The service may also be beneficial for individuals with cognitive disabilities, mental illness, or one or more chronic conditions, as well as those who simply want to take their medications properly. Use of the medication dispenser also tends to reduce stress among caregivers who can’t always be present to help with medication dispensing.
How the Medication Dispensing Service Works
A representative from Morris Hospital will deliver the medication dispenser unit to the subscriber’s home, program it based on the individual medication schedule, and train a family member or caregiver on how to load the dispenser. The dispenser can hold up to 60 cups, accommodates 1 to 40 days of medicine, and can hold up to 6 doses per day.
When it’s time to take a dose of medication, the device gives an audio alert once a minute for up to 90 minutes, along with the visual flashing screen and instructions. The user simply presses a button to receive the correct dose of medicine. For non-pill medications, the device can be programmed to provide reminders such as, “Time for your eye drops” or “Time to take your insulin.” If the subscriber is going to be away from home at the time a dose is administered, the subscriber can select “Early Dose” and take the medication cup with them.
The dispenser is connected to the subscriber’s telephone line. If the medicine still hasn’t been dispensed after 90 minutes, the unit will store the medicine and the designated caregiver will be notified. Caregivers can access online monitoring reports at all times. A rechargeable battery will maintain the service for 18 hours in the event of a power outage.
Sound easy? It is, and it’s effective. The Medication Dispensing service has been proven to deliver a 98.6% in-home dispensing adherence level among monitored subscribers.
The medication dispensing program at Morris Hospital is being made possible through a bequest gift left to the Morris Hospital Foundation from the estate of Virginia Sparr Brown, a longtime friend of Morris Hospital and member of the Morris Hospital Auxiliary. In her will, Ms. Brown stated that her gift was to be used to fund projects and programs that support, enhance and encourage the provision of geriatric medical care. The Morris Hospital Foundation funded the cost of the initial launch of the medication dispensing service and will provide ongoing funding to assist those who need assistance with the monthly subscription fee.
For more information, call Morris Hospital at 815.705.7251.