As mom became more unstable on her feet and endured several surgeries, her dependence on someone else became more pronounced. Many of the idiosyncrasies of elderly family members manifested themselves in her behaviors: lack of motivation, nodding off in her chair, no appetite, fading memory, and reluctance to shower. It was only through careful observation and some very sensitive conversations that I discovered her fear of falling, the sleep problems that confused her understanding of which day it was. With little mental stimulation in her lonely apartment, being forgetful was more a sign of loneliness and apathy than dementia setting in.
However, her sleep habits and confusion were creating the perfect storm with her medications. She would think when she woke up after a long nap that it was morning and re-take her medication. Then, after being scolded for that, she was afraid she had already taken them and missed the next dose! No matter how I labeled the various pill organizers, there would always be errors which could become quite serious.
Fortunately for both of us, another friend and her elderly mother had gone through very similar issues months earlier. They discovered a pill dispenser with a lock and alarm that could be set for up to four times per day. Luckily, mom took her pills only morning and evening so the dispenser could be refilled once every two weeks. It has been the single most important thing I have purchased for her health – and my piece of mind.
Check out the Med-d-lert pill dispenser (I am not being paid or receive any compensation what-so-ever to promote this item).