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Need to Find Locking Medicine Dispenser
Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 7:54 PM
Joined: 6/13/2019
Posts: 30

My Mom has ALZ and I think the neuro said that she is in stage 5, so most of the time, she is able to stay without me being there all the time. I haven't moved in on a full-time basis yet but it isn't far off.  At this point, she's going about 2 weeks in between major episodes, or as we call them, "bad days ". Unfortunately, these "bad days" are starting to last up to a week and a half and sometimes longer. 

Sometimes my Mom will lay down and sleep and when she gets up, she thinks that she has slept through the day, night and into the next morning. The problem is that she takes her medication for that day. I am trying to find some sort of medication dispenser that will only give her the medication at a specific time and won't give her any more unless she opens it with a key. I found some but they are hundreds of dollars and the area that holds the pills is too small. My Mom is on a lot of vitamins as well as medications. 

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks & God Bless Everyone because we are all rowing in the same boat. 

Posted: Saturday, August 17, 2019 10:33 PM
Joined: 3/24/2019
Posts: 21


I bought my mother in law a locking medication machine that beeps loudly. She has to turn it upside down to dump the pills and then back upright to get it to stop beeping.  So far, even with her alzheimer's getting worse, she is religious about that machine. When it beeps, she gets out of bed and takes her pills.  Here is the one I got.


Good luck!


Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 5:54 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2152

In managing care of a PWD, the advise most often given here is to put the plan in place for the worst days not for those when she's most lucid. To that end, IMO, there is no electronic device that is a substitute for a human caregiver. GPS trackers, wifi cameras and pill dispensers are short term solutions at best. The challenging part is that the day will come- soon- when these fail to keep the LO safe and you might not get a warning shot before things go sideways.

Is your mom cooking? Can she work the phone? Would she recognize an emergency and know what to do if there was a fire or gas leak? 

About 2 years ago, when dad was late stage 5 (continent, able to work the remote/answer the phone, knew who we all were, very verbal) my mom asked me to stay at her house with dad because she had to go out and there were techs in the house installing a new HVAC system. She was still leaving dad alone for a couple daylight hours at this point; I was there in case the techs had a question. They set off the smoke detector which gave me a chance to watch dad's damaged brain in inaction. He ignored the sound for about 15 seconds, then he asked me what it was. When I told him "smoke detector" he looked at me and said "We must go find your mother" and toddled off toward the bedroom without his phone. In an actual fire, he'd have perished.  

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 8:37 AM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2482

I personally have not looked into a locking medicine dispenser, but I would venture to guess Amazon would have several for you to look at. Also when on Amazon, if you search ALZ or Dementia they have an entire section specific to those needs.

Hopefully others will come along and share what dispensers they've used.


Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 12:42 PM
Joined: 6/13/2019
Posts: 30

Thank you. Mom doesn't cook and I only worry about her medication because she tends to take it before she is good and awake. The most recent episode that caused me to ask about it was when she laid down for a nap and thought she slept through the night. She got up and took the next day's medication. 

To those who commented about people coming to help with her during the day or her no longer being able to stay alone, I am fully aware that I will have to move in with her soon. I am with her every day. I've already had to quit working so I can be with her. But she is not there yet. When she is having her, what we call "bad days", I stay and when she is at her baseline, I just visit and fix her meals. When that time comes, I will definitely move. 

Being a nurse makes caring for her both easier and harder. 

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:36 PM
Joined: 7/21/2013
Posts: 259

I tried a battery operated pill box for my mother and she hated it so much, calling me incessantly to berate me for insulting her intelligence - and then she figured out how to take out the batteries to make it stop.  

A human pill-giver is the best solution, IMHO

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:47 PM
Joined: 10/9/2014
Posts: 1033

With my LO I realized that gadgets, devices, reminders, etc. that were designed to help were not something that she could handle. Processing and initiating activities is an area that is not prone to adjust or improve with dementia..  My LO could get distracted and forget to take a pill from the minute she picked it up and before it went into her mouth. It might not happen.  Notes, directions, etc.  made no difference.  I'm certain she would not remember what a beep or bell was for.  Granted, people vary with their abilities, but, past the early stage, it's really risky to be left alone.  I took out all my LO's knives, scissors, cleaning supplies (they can eat nonfood items), medications, turned off breaker box power to stove, and left my number in big boldface numbers, but, she was still not able to manage. It's like leaving a toddler alone.

 I might explore finding a day senior center for her stay when you're at work.  

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 1:14 PM
Joined: 6/13/2019
Posts: 30

Well, I found one on Amazon that didn't cost a fortune. My reasoning for needing it was to make sure that my Mom only takes her medication when she's supposed to.  It is the best thing I have purchased. It opens up to the morning medication at the time I set and so forth throughout the day. It guarantees that she only takes it when she is supposed to and no more. I love it.
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 8:44 PM
Joined: 1/28/2018
Posts: 3

BikerNurse412 wrote:

"Does anyone have any suggestions?"

I bought two LiveFine automatic pill dispensers for $80 each,

one for my EOFTD wife and one for my VD mother in-law. 

Couldn't be happier with the purchases and they work as described.