One of the major issues for people with dementia, particularly those with memory loss, is remembering to take their daily pills.
Similarly for many Family and Carers, this can be an ongoing worry, and certainly, one of the first questions I am asked about MemBo Noticeboard is: “Will it help mum (or dad) remember to take her (or his) pills?”
Today, I can say the answer to that is yes, it can!
As we support my 91-year old mum to live as independently as possible with her Alzheimer’s dementia, what we know is that it’s not her intelligence that’s gone, it’s only her ability to remember that’s compromised.
The issue isn’t being able to take the pills - she can physically do that - it’s being able to remember to take them.
So, the actual issue is getting the instruction to take her pills in front of her in a reliable way.
We’ve been using MemBo Noticeboard with mum since we began developing the system at the end of 2017 to meet her ever-growing levels of panic at not remembering things, and a daily deluge of phone calls to confirm everything from pick up times to doctor’s appointments.
Our system has met all of our expectations.
It has relieved my mother’s distress at not remembering and the worry of not knowing what’s going on because the information we put on the Noticeboard is absolutely accurate, and she can check as often as she needs to at any time of the day or night.
For us, we have the relief of knowing she’s less panicked, and importantly for our own wellbeing, the daily deluge of phone calls to confirm arrangements has all but disappeared.
With respect to the issue of taking pills, until recently, we hadn’t actually had any real issues - has mum been 100% reliable, no, but not enough to feel any major concern.
In recent weeks though, there has been a significant shift, and so we face this challenge too.
What to do?!
With our MemBo Noticeboard system now her "go-to" for information, we did a little test.
At the beginning of the week, we put a Note on the Noticeboard, which simply read “Check you've taken your pills”
The week prior to our test she had taken her pills on Tuesday and Wednesday - 2 days out of 7.
The week of the test, she took all but Friday’s pills - 6 days out of 7.
Not a perfect result, and not conclusive as yet of course, so we will continue and see how we go over a longer period.
However, I think we have a few reasons to be confident:
1. The Noticeboard has become my mother’s go-to place for information.
2. We keep the information absolutely up-to-date.
3. It's right there on her kitchen bench, so it's the first thing she sees in the morning.
Does it matter if she checks the Noticeboard and sees the message repeatedly?
No it doesn’t.
The Noticeboard states what today is, so if she goes to the pill pack to check again, she can see that she has indeed taken today's pills.
If you need help to support someone with memory loss, or you know of someone who does, please share our information.
We offer the first 30 days’ Membership for free, and we provide assistance with getting the system set up according to personal needs.