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Do you need an assistive device?

The needs of our rapidly aging population exceed the available solutions. Whether it’s housing, healthcare, bathing or mobility assistance, the demand outstrips the supply. The cost to provide these services keeps growing; the resources available keep shrinking.

The question now posed by government and agencies worldwide is: “how can we keep seniors at home, longer?”. Similarly, seniors are asking: “how can I stay at home, longer?”.

The answer is the same and can be as simple as, “with an assistive device”.

An assistive device is any product that can be used to make the activities of daily life at work, home or play easier. Assistive devices enhance your independence and make it easier for caregivers to provide the dedicated support you need.

Assistive devices can be as simple as a handrail to help with bathing, a walker to help with mobility, to an IoT connected device to help with health management and monitoring. If it’s difficult to visit a doctor, why not have the doctor visit you though technology? If you can not open your 15 medication vials, remember to take, or how to take, your medications on time, then you need an assistive device. You need an automated pill dispenser, an assistive medication manager to ensure the right pills are taken at the right time.

How do I get an Assistive Device?

There are several steps to obtaining the right device, one that meets your needs.

  1. Initiative – recognize that you need help and ask for it. A social worker, doctor, pharmacist or family member can be contacted. A Caregiver can also make contact on your behalf.
  2. Assessment – the doctor or Health Care Professional will evaluate your situation and provide recommendations, including a list of requirements for the assistive device.
  3. Selection – knowing what is needed, shop at the local medical supplies store, or online, to select the right assistive device.
  4. Funding – Depending on the assistive device and your situation, you may be able to obtain financial assistance from your provincial or territorial government to purchase the assistive device you need. Some insurers cover the cost, others may subsidize it.
  5. Delivery – the device will be delivered and set up by a qualified technician. Caregivers or other caring persons will be trained to use, monitor and follow-up from time to time. Some devices automatically notify caregivers when unforeseen events or anomalies occur.

Use Case: Medication Assistance

Mary lives at home, alone. Her husband passed away several years earlier and while she provided care for her ailing husband, Mary prefers to be independent and not burden her children with requests for help. Mary suffers from Chronic disease and has recently began to question whether she took medications, of which there are 8-10 pills each dose, 4 times daily. Mary also has Rheumatoid Arthritis in her hands, limiting dexterity and making it difficult to open her pill vials and blister packages.

Mary needs to monitor her blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and glucose levels. Mary’s daughter, Samantha, is concerned Mary is not taking her medications properly, having recently rushed her to the hospital due to under-dosing, not taking her medications.

Mary asked her pharmacist, Roger, for help. She feels comfortable talking to him having purchased medications form him over the past 30 years. Roger, a digital health proponent, recommended an automated pill dispenser. The device would take blister packaged medications he prepared and lock them in to the device. It self-programs and based on the dose time set by the pharmacist, notifies the patient at the right time, when time to take their medications. No overdosing, no under-dosing, only exact dosing. Once notified, Mary would approach the device, identify herself with her voice print, and medications would be automatically removed from their packaging and delivered to her at the front of the device, along with instructions or any notices to remind her how to take her pills. When Mary misses her dose, only then is her caregiver, Samantha notified so that she can call in a check up on her mom.

After taking her pills, Mary confirms on the device screen, and her vitals are automatically captured and stored with her patient profile in the cloud. Vitals are collected from her Bluetooth connected wearables each time she approaches the device. Mary’s daughter, physician and pharmacist have access to her data in their own secure portal account, because she approved their access. When Mary needs to contact someone for help, one touch of the screen, or call for help, is all that is needed.

What recommended product did Roger suggest? The RxPense® by Medipense, the best pill dispenser for seniors.

RxPense Right Print [PNG]With the RxPense, seniors can in fact remain at home longer. RxPense® empowers patients with better control of their medications. RxPense® empowers caregivers with better control of their patients’ medications.

If you get to the stage in life where you need an assistive device, make sure you get the right one. Make sure it fulfills its mandate to make your activities of daily life easier, enhance your independence and makes it easier for caregivers to provide the dedicated support you need.

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