Pilot program helps Chilliwack seniors track meds

FHA rolled out a home dispensing unit pilot in Chilliwack to help seniors better track their meds. The program is a first for FHA.

Lloyd Sandhoff may forget a thought mid-sentence, but he never forgets his pills.

Three times a day, for a total of 24 pills to help alleviate the stresses of high blood pressure, heart congestion, circulatory issues, arthritis, and other age-related ailments, the 90-year-old pops them like clockwork.

It wasn’t always that way.

The Chilliwack senior used to have “mounds” of forgotten pills piled on tables throughout his small room at Crystal Ridge Manor.

Admittedly, he was a medical emergency waiting to happen.

When Fraser Health approached him to be part of the automated medical dispensing unit pilot, it was as though God had spoken.

“With this, I don’t forget because it tells me to take my pills,” he said. “It’s a godsend; you don’t see any pills lying around here anymore.”

The pilot program was started in Chilliwack in 2012 in recognition of the need for the aging community. It’s a first for the province.

With it, seniors are given a Phillips pill dispensing unit that is programmed to verbally tell them when to take their pills, and then, upon further prompting, dispense the proper dose in a small plastic container.

If the alert is ignored, it will continue to alert clients every minute for 45 minutes, at which time a message will be sent to a call centre in Ontario, which will then alert the client’s first responder, whether that be a family member or home health nurse.

The purpose of the unit is three-fold: to keep the senior population independent for as long as possible; to minimize pill-dosing errors; and to reduce costs on the medical system.

“It’s been quite a wonderful piece of machinery for us,” said Chilliwack Home Health representative Chris Laslop.

“In the past, we had to send home support workers into the home to dispense medications several times a day, which is quite costly on the medical system.”

Now, with the unit, either a family member or home health nurse is able to reload the machine either weekly or bi-weekly.

From June 2012 to September 2013, the program produced an approximate savings of over $200,000 on the medical system, and over 6,000 home support hours.

Fraser Health has not yet tested whether it’s reduced emergency room visits or hospitalizations, “but I”m sure that’s something that would be affected also,” said Laslop.

In total, 31 Chilliwack seniors have been connected with the unit, with 25 currently using it.

Fraser Health is looking at rolling the program out to other communities in the province.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The annual Make a Difference Sale in Abbotsford is moving online for 2021. (File photo)
Make a Difference Sale in Abbotsford goes virtual for 2021

Annual auction raises money for world hunger through Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The Bug Girl, written by seven-year-old Sophia Spencer, is being given to 500 B.C. classrooms as part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month. (Submitted photos)
Reading challenges part of Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month

Abbotsford-based BC Agriculture in the Classroom participates in 10th annual event

Two teens were sent to hospital after being stabbed Saturday evening. (Shane MacKichan photo)
Two teens stabbed in Abbotsford

20-year-old man has been detained

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Inez Louis, who is strategic operations planner with the health department in the Sto:lo Service Agency, talks about infection control in the latest YouTube video about COVID-19 created in partnership with the Chilliwack Division of Family Practice and the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network. (YouTube)
VIDEO: Nurse Inez Louis explains how infection control is not social control

The difference is important for Indigenous people to hear in the context of Canada’s colonial past

Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Approximate location of the vehicle incident. (Google Maps)
Vehicle incident blocking Coquihalla traffic in both directions

Both directions of traffic stopped due to vehicle incident

Most Read