Whether you or your loved ones take one medication or several, it’s easy to forget to take a dose. You find yourself wondering, “Did I take it this morning?” Many people then accidentally take the dose twice. Either one can cause a medical emergency.

One of the best ways to be sure medications are taken when they should be is to use a medication dispenser. Numerous models are available, beginning with the simple, seven-compartment version – labeled for Monday through Sunday - available practically everywhere, from Walgreens to Wal-Mart.

Others have more advanced features including:

*As many as 24 compartments to take certain medicines at specific times.

*Alarms that remind it’s time to take medication.

*Alarms that ring 15 minutes or so after a medication has been missed.

*The ability to inform a relative or friend of the missed dose.

Of course, more features make a dispenser more complicated and more costly, so consider carefully what features you really need. Still, the safety that these dispensers offer by making sure medications are taken properly is worth the cost. Studies show that people who use dispensers are less likely to be readmitted to the hospital because of medication errors that occurred at home.

For help at home with medications or other care, including periodic medication management by a registered nurse, contact Homewatch Caregivers at 520-297-9349.

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