Author Topic: Needed: medication reminder device for my mom  (Read 697 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Needed: medication reminder device for my mom
« on: August 04, 2019, 05:33:52 PM »
I need a device for reminding my mom to take a pill every morning. Amazon search is giving me too much of the wrong kind of thing, so I'm asking for suggestions or for keywords I should try.

Details: Mom doesn't have Alzheimer's but she is not capable (or willing) to learn how to use any device that's more complicated than an alarm clock or a landline phone. So smartphone apps are out. A regular alarm clock won't work every day, because frequently she is busy with some task, or taking my dad to a doctor's appointment, or otherwise not immediately available.

The ideal device would be a clock that pops up a gaudy flag or a flashing light, which she can easily reset and which will automatically go off each day. Loud alarms not necessary (or desirable!).

It's funny -- Mom is managing Dad's medication perfectly, and it's a very complicated regimen. But she can't remember her own once-a-day pills.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Needed: medication reminder device for my mom
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 11:20:17 AM »
So I sent Mom an invention.



Old-fashioned mechanical timer, with a manual override (the green switch at the top). To this I added a moderately-obnoxious color-changing LED nightlight.

I told her to plug it in somewhere obvious in the kitchen. It'll turn on daily at 8:30 AM. After she takes her pills, she turns it off with the green switch. If she never turns it off, it'll keep flashing colors until 11 PM -- I figure somebody has got to notice it by then.

We'll see. Her initial reaction was that she must be doing something wrong because it was flashing colors.  :facepalm:

By the way, if you happen to need a mechanical timer like this, most of the current ones available are utter crap.  They don't keep accurate time, or they're noisy, or the case is warped out of shape so that the on and off pins don't engage the switch, or they overheat and literally melt.  This particular model (Ingraham 12-820) seems to be pretty good, but it's no longer produced, so you'll have to go to Ebay (or pay a stupidly-high price on Amazon) if you want one.

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Re: Needed: medication reminder device for my mom
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2019, 06:15:35 PM »
Hmmmm. I was going to suggest the alarm setting on a phone.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Needed: medication reminder device for my mom
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2019, 09:30:15 PM »
Hmmmm. I was going to suggest the alarm setting on a phone.

She has an antique flip-phone that might possibly have an alarm in it, but she keeps the phone in her purse and turned off at all times because she hates it.  She has to carry instructions to remind her how to turn it on and make a call.  She won't touch a smartphone.

She's still intimidated by the timer I sent -- I don't think she's tried using it yet.

It's hard being 93.

Anyway, any sort of regular alarm won't work, because if she's in the middle of something, she'll just turn it off and then forget.  It has to be something that stays on, without being a nuisance, until she takes her pills and turns it off.

I've got hopes for the timer, but I might need to send her a less-flashy nightlight for it.  We'll see.

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Re: Needed: medication reminder device for my mom
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2019, 11:22:49 PM »
Wall phone? If so, have your smart phone do an auto-dial everyday.
Just grasping for ideas here

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Needed: medication reminder device for my mom
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 09:04:20 AM »
I was going to just call her every day, but she nixed that idea.  It can't be a "Do It Right Now" reminder.  That's why I'm hoping the timer+light will work.

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Re: Needed: medication reminder device for my mom
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2019, 09:16:06 AM »
Hopefully it will.
They used to make a big light that plugged into a phone outlet. Hang it up and it flashed red everytime the phone rang. Remember those? 6" round.....

Wire it into the timer....