This is a sponsored post. Opinions are my own.
When I was caring for my parents, I would go to their house every other Sunday night and sort two weeks’ worth of pills into their plastic pill box from the drugstore. At first, I felt so smart. I had created a system to ensure they had no trouble with medication management. But eventually I got tired. As a busy working mother with a hectic business travel schedule, it was difficult to commit to the 3 hour round trip visit twice a month. So I hired a visiting nurse, who I paid, to sort their pills. It came at a cost, but it was worth it. My time was valuable and the peace of mind, or so I thought, was priceless.
A few years later, when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I stopped traveling for work and I took great pride in sorting his pills into another plastic box. It was an act of love and a reminder that we were a team. He had to endure chemo; the least I could do was manage his meds. Depending on where he was in his treatment cycle, the pills varied. But I had a system, and he never had to worry about it.
When his chemo regimen ended and he started a relatively easier radiation treatment, I started traveling for work again. And even though I sorted the pills into the appropriate slots before I left, I worried that he would remember to take them. So I set alarms on my iPhone and even if I was in a meeting, I would leave the conference room to call him. “Take your 8s,” I’d say. “Take your 3s.” His responses varied. He either replied, “Thank you Sweetie,” or, “I know. I’m not an idiot.”
I knew he wasn’t an idiot but I also knew I needed him to take those pills, because I needed him to be okay. I realized from across the country, during those trips to my company’s headquarter office, that medication management and pill dispensing were not the same as adherence to medication therapy. And in hindsight, it occurred to me that I hadn’t really managed my parents’ medication years before; I had merely sorted their pills. What happened after that, after I returned home – I had no real way of knowing.
Today, after 6 years of caregiving and as many years writing about, researching and advocating for family caregivers, I know there is a better way to manage medications than the plastic drug store box. That’s why I am thrilled to offer Working Daughter readers a coupon code for $100 off, Pria by BLACK+DECKER, a new automated medication dispenser and management device. (Enter code WORKINGDAUGHTER at checkout.) Pria does more than sort and dispense pills. It gives caregivers day-to-day insight into their family member’s adherence to both prescribed and over-the-counter medication therapy, and wellbeing, through a mobile application.
Recently, I set the Pria up in my kitchen, right under the cabinet where we keep any prescription pill bottles. Set up was simple. All a working daughter, or son, needs to do is enter their parents’ medication schedule into the mobile app and then load medication into the device through the pill chute. The device walks you through every step of the filling process and automatically sorts the pills. And even if your parent takes a liquid medication that can’t be stored in the device, Pria can still remind them to take it. When it is time to take the medication, Pria uses facial recognition or a preset PIN number to dispense the pills. It’s the high-tech version of, “Take your 8s.”
And here’s the big difference between Pria and the plastic pill box: once the pill cup is removed and placed back on the device, you can check the mobile app to ensure that the medication was taken. And if the medication wasn’t taken, Pria will notify you. And that is real medication management – and true peace of mind.
Another feature I loved about Pria is that it has a built-in camera for two-way video calls, so if your parent is confused about which pills to take, you can guide them through the process. And, now more than ever, as many caregivers are unable or hesitant to go into their parents’ homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ability to monitor their parents’ medication remotely is critical.
In addition to medication management and two-way video calling, Pria offers a wealth of other home healthcare features. Using the device and companion app, caregivers can ask check-in questions regarding meals, social time and exercise, set daily reminders for things like drinking water and watering the plants, and even ask Pria to read a poem or tell jokes.
Get your Pria today at OkPria.com and enter WORKINGDAUGHTER at checkout for $100 off.