PILLSORTED BLOG 9 MINUTES READ

Supporting Carers: How PillSorted Makes a Difference

carer caring for father, sandwich generation

As the population ages and life expectancy increases, the demand for elder is growing rapidly. Professional caregivers, family members, or both often provide this care. Family members who give care are commonly called the ‘sandwich generation.’ They frequently balance caregiving duties with their personal and professional responsibilities. And, they often encounter unique challenges and stressors that can affect their well-being and ability to give care effectively.

At PillSorted, we recognize caregivers’ daily struggles. That’s why we are dedicated to equipping them with the tools and support they need to make their responsibilities more manageable and less stressful.

Are you a carer? Read on to see how we do it and how we can help you.

In this post:

  • Daily Challenges Carers Face
  • How PillSorted Supports Carers
  • Key Products Supporting Carers
  • Balancing Responsibilities with Joy
  • Carer Dos & Don’ts
  • Main Takeaways

Daily Challenges Carers Face

Carers often juggle numerous responsibilities to ensure the well-being of their loved ones. Here are some common daily challenges they face and some examples that may sound familiar to you:

Hydration & Nutrition

Ensuring regular fluid and nutrient intake can be challenging, especially when medications affect appetite or fluid retention.

For example, if you care for someone who has heart failure and is on diuretics, these medications make them urinate frequently, leading to a higher risk of dehydration. Carers must constantly remind their patients to drink water and balance their fluid intake to not worsen their condition.

Hygiene

Maintaining personal hygiene for someone with mobility issues requires patience and physical effort.

For instance, if you are caring for a person with advanced arthritis who struggles with bathing, you may need to assist them in safely getting in and out of the bathtub. This requires careful attention and significant effort to prevent slips and falls. Additionally, you may need to help with dressing and grooming, which can be time-consuming and physically demanding.

Sleep Patterns

Monitoring and managing sleep disturbances caused by medications or health conditions.

For example, if you are caring for someone with Parkinson’s disease, which causes them to have restless nights and frequent awakenings, you have to know which of their medications might cause vivid dreams and nightmares. Also, you may stay up late to monitor their sleep and ensure they are comfortable, affecting your own sleep quality and daily functioning.

Bowel Movements

Keeping track of digestive health and managing medications that affect bowel movements is important.

For instance, if you are taking care of someone with multiple sclerosis who is on multiple medications that can cause constipation, you may need to monitor their bowel movements, make sure they stay hydrated and include foods high in fiber in their diet. Sometimes, you may need to give them prescribed laxatives, but you’ll need to do this carefully to prevent diarrhea.

Aletness & Responsiveness

Observing and responding to changes in alertness and overall health is key.

For example, suppose you care for someone who has dementia and takes medications that sometimes cause drowsiness and confusion. In that case, you need to stay vigilant for any signs of oversedation or adverse reactions, ensuring they are not experiencing unreported pain or discomfort.

Also, keep in mind that confusion is a more significant symptom of infection in the elderly than fever. Due to age-related vulnerabilities, any infection in older adults can rapidly progress to septicemia (also known as sepsis)—a severe and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when an infection spreads into the bloodstream.

How PillSorted Supports Carers

At PillSorted, we understand the significant responsibilities that come with caregiving and the unique challenges faced by those in this vital role. To support carers, we offer a comprehensive range of services designed to alleviate these challenges and enhance the overall caregiving experience:

Free Medication Delivery

We provide automated repeat dispensing and free, timely deliveries, significantly reducing the need for frequent trips to the pharmacy. This not only saves time but also ensures that medications are consistently available when needed, allowing carers to focus more on their loved ones and less on logistics.

For example, there’s a full-time working mother who is also a caregiver for her elderly father. She used to spend her lunch breaks rushing to the pharmacy to pick up his medications. However, with PillSorted’s automated repeat dispensing and free delivery service, she now receives her father’s medications directly at her doorstep. This saves her time and reduces stress, allowing her to spend her breaks relaxing or catching up on work instead.

Medication Repeat Alerts

Our system offers proactive notifications about when medications need to be re-ordered. Our knowledgeable pharmacists can also advise on potential medication interactions, ensuring you fully understand the side effects of the prescriptions, and giving you the reassurance that you’ll never run out.

For example, a husband cares for his wife, who is on a complex medication regimen for multiple health conditions. He often worried about ensuring she stayed hydrated, especially with medications that could affect fluid intake. PillSorted’s medication alerts notify him when such medications are due, thus preventing dehydration-related complications.

Supplement Recommendations

Our knowledgeable pharmacists can advise on nutritional supplements that support overall health. These recommendations are tailored to individual dietary needs and potential medication interactions, ensuring the supplements complement the existing treatment plan and dietary restrictions.

A daughter looks after her elderly mother, who has specific dietary restrictions and a history of nutritional deficiencies. Unsure which supplements would be safe and beneficial, she consulted PillSorted’s pharmacists. We recommend tailored nutritional supplements that complement her mother’s diet and medications, improving her overall health without adverse interactions.

Sleep & Medication Advice

We provide detailed guidance on medications that may cause sleep disturbances. In addition, we offer practical suggestions for establishing better sleep hygiene, helping both carers and their loved ones achieve more restful and restorative sleep.

A son noticed his elderly father having trouble sleeping, likely due to his medication for high blood pressure. Seeking advice from PillSorted, he received information on which medications might be causing the sleep disturbances and tips on improving his father’s sleep hygiene.

Digestive Health Support

Understanding that some medications can impact digestion, we identify these medications and offer advice on managing any adverse effects. This support helps maintain digestive health and comfort, improving the quality of life for those under care.

A granddaughter cares for her grandmother, who started experiencing digestive issues after beginning a new medication. Unsure how to manage these side effects, she turned to PillSorted. We identified the medication likely causing the digestive problems and provide dietary advice and strategies to alleviate the symptoms, improving her grandmother’s comfort and digestive health.

Monitoring Responsiveness

We assist carers in understanding how various medications can affect alertness and responsiveness. By providing strategies to mitigate drowsiness and enhance alertness, we help ensure those in care remain as engaged and active as possible.

A son’s elderly mother began experiencing increased drowsiness after starting a new medication. Concerned about her alertness and safety, he consulted PillSorted. We explained the medication’s potential impact on alertness and suggested strategies to counteract drowsiness.

Key Products Supporting Carers

PillSorted has developed three key products that are especially beneficial for carers:

Online Portal

Our user-friendly online portal provides carers with comprehensive visibility into their loved ones’ medication schedules and health records. This ensures they have all the information they need at their fingertips, facilitating better care management.

Medicine Chart

Our innovative medicine chart includes photos of each tablet and color-coded time slots. This visual aid significantly reduces language barriers and helps ensure correct medication intake. This makes it easier for carers and those they care for to understand and follow medication regimens.

Multiple Packaging Options

We offer labelled pouches and dosette boxes, for those who may have trouble with the original packaging. These options are a great way reduce errors and improve patient independence.

Customer Care & Pharmacist Team

Our dedicated team is available via phone and email to provide personalized advice and support. Whether it’s a question about a specific medication or general health advice, our team is always ready to assist.

Online Shop

With our online shop, you can easily order health monitoring tools, first aid supplies, and PPE equipment. If you order them together with your patietns NHS prescription they will be delivered for free.

Here are a few products from our shop that we recommend:

Carer pharmacy tool kit
For most carers, we recommend having the following medicines and equipment on hand.
Betterlife Blood Pressure Arm Monitor

Betterlife Blood Pressure Arm Monitor

The Betterlife Blood Pressure Arm Monitor is a clinically validated and user-friendly device that measures blood pressure and detects irregular heartbeat, all with the convenience of testing at home. It features innovative technology, an easy-to-read display, and a 60-reading memory. The latex-free upper arm cuff ensures accurate readings, while the monitor also detects irregular heartbeat. It comes with a storage case and is suitable for both left and right arms. 

Portia Medium Cotton Gloves - 1 Pair

Portia Medium Cotton Gloves – 1 Pair

Portia Cotton Gloves in medium size are versatile and convenient for everyday use. These gloves can be worn on either hand, providing flexibility and ease of use. Made from soft white cotton, they offer a comfortable fit and can be washed for repeated use. Whether for skincare routines, handling delicate items, or general hand protection, these gloves are a practical choice.

Type 1 Disposable Face Masks 3 Ply - 50 Pack

Type 1 Disposable Face Masks 3 Ply – 50 Pack

Type 1 Disposable Face Masks are non-medical masks made from 3-ply, non-woven fabric. They are designed to cover the nose and mouth to minimise the spread of germs, protect against cross-infection in clean or sensitive environments, and against the inhalation of harmful airborne substances. The masks feature an integral plastic-coated strip above the nose for a secure fit, and the elasticated loops are latex-free to minimise allergic reactions. They should be used once and disposed of properly when they become moist. 

AeroChamber Plus

AeroChamber Plus

AeroChamber Plus is a medical device designed to enhance the delivery of inhaled medications, including asthma medications, to the lungs.

Contour Plus Blood Glucose Test Strips - 50 Tests

Contour Plus Blood Glucose Test Strips – 50 Tests

Contour Plus Test Strips are designed to work with the Contour Plus Blue monitoring system, providing accurate results.

Balancing Responsibilities with Joy

While caring for a loved one can be demanding, it also presents opportunities for meaningful intergenerational interactions. Here are some positive ways to balance caregiving responsibilities with the joy of family connections:

Shared Activities

Engage in activities that the elderly and younger generations can enjoy together. Shared experiences such as gardening, baking, or storytelling can strengthen family bonds and create cherished memories.

Learning & Teaching

Encourage the exchange of skills and knowledge between generations. Elderly family members can teach traditional crafts or cooking techniques, while younger ones can introduce new technology or hobbies.

Quality Time

Make time for regular family gatherings and celebrations. These moments of togetherness can provide emotional support and highlight the benefits of having multiple generations under one roof.

Carer Dos & Don’ts

DoDon’t
Use a medication chart (aka MAR chart) to keep track of administration times and doses.Don’t take on more than you can handle. Be realistic about what you can manage alone and get help.
Don’t hesitate to seek help from PillSorted and others in your family or from professionals such as Curam carers to share the caregiving load. Don’t isolate yourself. Maintian relationships and join support groups.
Take advantage of dosette boxes or pill pouches to keep complex medications organized.Don’t double dose if you are unsure if your loved one has taken a medication to avoid a potential overdose. Use medicine charts and dosette boxes to help you stay organized and avoid confusion.
Prioritise self-care to avoid burnout. Make sure you eat well and get enough rest.Don’t overlook your own health. Stay current with your check-ups and care for your mental and physical health.
Educate yourself—understand symptoms, treatment options, and potential complications.Don’t neglect legal or financial planning, especially if you are responsible for managing the medical and economic affairs of a loved one.

Main takeaways

  • Carers manage a variety of daily tasks to ensure their loved one’s well-being. These may include maintaining hydration and nutrition, managing hygiene, monitoring sleep patterns, tracking bowel movements, and observing changes in responsiveness.
  • PillSorted alleviates these challenges by offering services such as free medication delivery, medication alerts, supplement recommendations, sleep and medication advice, digestive health support, and monitoring responsiveness.
  • PillSorted provides an online portal for comprehensive medication management, an innovative medicine chart with visual aids to reduce errors, multiple packaging options for easier medication administration, a customer care and pharmacist team for personalized support, and an online shop for convenient access to health supplies.
  • Carers can find balance and joy through shared activities, intergenerational learning and teaching, and quality family time, fostering stronger family bonds and creating cherished memories.

References

Raleigh, V., King’s Fund (2024). What is happening to life expectancy in England?

Office for National Satistics, ONS Gov (2019). Sandwich Generation

Carers UK (2019). Carers UK comments on new findings that one in four sandwich carers report symptoms of mental ill-health

PillSorted

PillSorted is a full-service pharmacy that delivers trusted pharmacy products, over-the-counter medications, and the prescriptions recommended for your patient or loved one directly to your door. Your PillSorted pharmacist is happy to answer your questions about medicines and treatments at 033 4050380 or help@pillsorted.com.

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