Forgetting to take medication, or forgetting that you’ve taken it and taking too much, can have serious consequences. A dosette box can make make all the difference.

Why use a dosette box?

Medication management has grown increasingly complex over the past years. It’s therefore critical to know how to use a dosette box, also known as a pill sorter, effectively. Conditions like diabetes, chronic heart failure and dementia require many different kinds of medication to be taken on a daily basis and at different times during the day. Therefore, both carers and patients face challenges keeping up-to-date with these complex medication regimes.

A common tool to manage medication is a dosette box. Dosette boxes have multiple compartments divided by time and date and come in many shapes and sizes with features including detachable units, alarm reminders and different segments for each day. Choosing the right one depends on the need of your loved one, their cognitive capabilities (as the boxes themselves can be confusing) and how closely you and/or their carer can monitor its usage in person.

How to use a dosette box effectively

The best way to use a dosette box is when it is integrated into a daily routine. Medicines should be taken at certain fixed daily points; with meals, brushing teeth or waking up/going to bed. Once this routine is established you can start using more dosette boxes and placing them strategically around the house. For instance, you can place one box in an elderly person’s kitchen for all medications taken during meals, and one on their bedside table for those taken in the morning and before going to bed.

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Finally, until taking medication at those fixed points in time becomes an inextricable part of the day – when brushing teeth for example – it is advisable to use alarm reminders to make sure medicine is taken at the proper time.

Some final tips

The most effective way to ensure medication is packaged correctly is to ask the pharmacist to do this for you. Most pharmacists in the UK will routinely do this for NHS prescriptions. If the pharmacist does not offer this service, make sure to check the number of pills left after each re-fill.

This will make you aware of any medication close to running out, allowing time to get a new prescription. Finally, inform yourself thoroughly about the medication your loved one is taking. This will make you more aware of the consequences of not taking the medication, including the signs and symptoms of the untreated condition.

More practical solutions to the everyday problems faced by your elderly loved ones can be found here:

If your loved one is struggling to stay on top of their medication routine, then hometouch can help. hometouch is an introductory agency, helping you to find the best self-employed carers in your local area. A carer can make a huge difference to your loved one’s life, providing practical help around the house, companionship, or specialist nursing care. Whatever your loved one’s needs, we can help you find the care you require.

Dr Jamie WilsonFounder and Chief Medical Officer at Hometouch

Dr Jamie Wilson is hometouch’s founder and Chief Medical Officer. Jamie’s creation of hometouch was inspired by his work as a dementia psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has written about healthcare issues in The Times and the Evening Standard. Jamie has a MBBS from the University of Leeds and has spent a decade in the NHS, working as a Psychiatric Registrar and Memory Specialist at Imperial College Hospital.

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