Additional Product information
Medication Management Information
Using Technology for Medication Reminders
There are lots of technology devices and solutions available to purchase at a low cost from the High street or online retailers that can be used to help support someone to take their medication as safely and independently as possible. Some devices can be used creatively to support someone as often they are not being used for the intended use of the device. They should be used as an aid to help support someone and it is important to think through which particular device may be suitable by exploring the persons functional and cognitive abilities and deficits as well as their family/friend support to assist with purchase and setup.
Things to think about - There are a lot of things that should be considered before purchasing and setting up a medication prompt including:
- How many times a day does the medication need to be taken and at what times? Note these down and ensure the device is capable of this frequency.
- Consent -The person who is going to use the device or prompt must understand what it is for and be happy to use it.
- Cognition – the person who is going to use the device must understand what it is for e.g. what the alert is for and be able to act upon it
- Function – once reminded, is the person able to complete and sequence the task -dispense medication, place in mouth and swallow? Do they have the necessary dexterity to carry out the task; any visual or auditory deficits?
- What support is required – does the person require a reminder to take their medication at the right time or a solution that includes a "container" to house the medication to ensure the correct medication/dose is taken?
- How will it be accessed/worn/carried? Consider the following – clipped to clothing, carried in pocket or handbag, worn on a lanyard, worn on the wrist like a watch?
- Routine – does the person leave the house at times medication is likely to be taken? If so the solution needs to be mobile- ? watch solution, app, phone reminder.
- Compliance – will the person always see/hear the device? Needs to be accessible.
- If the device requires filling with medication, who will do this? Consider whether the device can take liquids (unlikely) and do meds require to be stored in an airtight container?
- Battery life & charging – is this required - if so, who will be responsible? Consider getting into routine with this – the earlier this routine is established the longer it is likely to continue and become the norm
- Who will monitor compliance if required and review to establish if the device is successful?
- Costs could be reduced by considering using the persons existing technology/devices and use them creatively – reminders on smart speaker, phone, tablet - apps
- Look at different companies as a comparison to purchase from – online, catalogues, instore
- If using a device that requires wifi connectivity – is there a reliable connection?
Products designed and manufactured solely to help people with disabilities may be eligible for VAT relief. See www.gov.uk for more details.
The use of GPS devices or location technology in mobile phones to help locate people with dementia is being established, trialled and evaluated across the world. Using this technology, as with all technology cannot be totally relied upon but can be of great assistance to help pinpoint a person’s location within a few metres. It has the potential to provide reassurance to carers, professionals and the person with dementia by providing an aid to help locate the person with dementia should they become lost, distressed or disorientated. There are different ways of doing this either by using GPS technology on a mobile phone, a specific GPS device or by using mobile phone network as a way of locating a mobile phone. Some car location trackers, lone worker or children’s devices may be appropriate in certain situations and it is worth thinking about what you really need a device to do prior to purchasing as it may have functions which are not required.
Things to think about - There are a lot of things that should be considered before setting up GPS or a similar option including:
- Compliance – will the device/phone always be taken with the person?
- Battery life & charging and who will be responsible? – advise getting into routine with this – the earlier this routine is established the longer it is likely to continue
- Reliability of Technology/mobile phone signal in your local area –GPS does not always work indoors and can give false locations when inside a building
- Tall buildings within a built up area or the device in bottom of a handbag/pocket can block satellites if using GPS
- Displayed location is not entirely accurate – most usually are within a few hundred metres
- How do you plan on obtaining location – utilising a call centre or your own devices – such as laptop laptop/smartphone/tablet?
- Is a panic button beneficial/would the person be able to use this function?
- Consider if a call monitoring centre/phone number is required, if not could reduce costs as not paying for monitoring costs if family are managing themselves
- Do you need a device to track the person’s location only or is a button required for person to press to alert help/have 2 way conversation?
- If a person is lost, who will locate and collect the person? Are the responders local and able to attend at short notice? Could be an issue if some distance away.
- Would you like to see a history of where the person has been or would you like to know where they are at a specific time?
- Consider weight and size of device
- How will it be worn/carried? – insoles, belt clips, around neck, in pocket or handbag, can it be worn around neck on lanyard, will it fit in pocket, would it be preferable to wear on the wrist like a watch?
- Do you need a falls detector which will alert if person has a heavy fall? Fall detectors do not always detect every fall as if slow slide to the floor may not be recognised.
- Are there areas where you would want to create a safezone and an alert come through should they leave or enter this zone? Consider device which offers a Geofence/safezone. These zones can be very specific to an area/a group of streets.
- Look at different companies to purchase from – online, catalogue, phone, instore
- Consider different buying options e.g. one off cost vs monthly rental cost (Remember to factor in ongoing monitoring or running costs)
Consider most suitable phone network –
- Consider strongest phone network in area
- Consider reliable network vs roaming SIM
- Roaming sims may have preferences and favour a network without using stronger signal. A true roaming SIM does not have any preference to networks and will seek the strongest signal.
This information leaflet is to give some pointers around what is available on the market and it is advised that different options are looked into and investigated before setting something up as one size does not fit all.
Some options for mobile phone apps include:
If you have an existing smart phone, check whether it has an app available to locate the phone from another device. Often these apps are free e.g.
- Find My phone: Free app available for iphones. Family can locate individuals location if they have find my iphone app and apple id and password.
- Life 360
- Whatsapp – share location to a specific contact