Medicine Containers Challenge Older Hands

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Hear this discussion from our Longevity Explorers — circles of older adults who meet monthly to explore solutions to the challenges that come with aging.

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from: Longevity Explorers | Sequoias SF, SF Village

Discussion Summary

Explorer Diana tells the group about the difficulty she has opening a bottle of commercial pain relief pills. The required squeezing motion is not friendly to her hand. By contrast, she displays a standard pharmacy pill bottle with a lid that can be reversed from 'child proof' to easy screw off type. The reversed lid also serves to hold her daily dose - reminding her to take the medication. Other members offer questions and comments:

  • Pharmacies will honor the user's request to have reversable caps - so one must only solve the 'child proof' type once - then flip the lid to screw in.
  • Marty writes what the medication is for on the cap, since all containers look similar.
  • Use one drawer for morning meds, another for p.m. medications.
  • Write how many of each on the med bottle cap to dispense the proper dose.
  • "Marry an RN and let her manage your meds for you."

Explorer Joe tells his method: His pharmacy sends him a set of pre-filled envelope packages with individual time of day doses. He reports that insurance companies endorse this method to assist patients in managing their medications and reducing risk.

  • Q: What happens when dosage changes, or is discontinued?
  • How can I dispose of unused meds?  
  • Are individual dose envelopes too much packaging? 
  • The V.A. and Kaiser issue refills in a 90-day supply

On balance, the group appears to like the concept of pre-packaged doses for ease of use.


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Key words: 
medicine containers, medication boxes