Senior woman prepares to take her daily medication in her home.

Medication dosing is an important part of senior living resident care, and now, one senior living facility in Canada is using automated medication technology to increase resident safety. The technology could make a difference in US-based senior living facilities, as well.

To make sure residents receive the correct amount of drugs at the right time, Dundas Manor, a senior living facility in Ontario, Canada uses automated dispensing cabinets, or ADCs.

The ADCs dispense pre-packaged single doses of drugs, similar to computerized vending machines. For safety reasons, each medication is stored in an individual drawer, and then unlocked by nursing home staff one drawer at a time. As an additional safety measure, two nurses are required to restock the drugs to make sure the amounts are accurate, and must use fingerprints to access the ACDs.

“Extensive staff education took place before the ADCs were implemented late last year and our team has stepped up to adopt this new system,” Dundas Manor administrator Susan Poirier told Seaway News. “These processes simplify how we use medications and increase resident safety.”

In US nursing homes and senior living facilities, similar technologies also are increasingly important in keeping residents safe and healthy. Several automatic medication dispensers are on the market, organizing pills by time, day of the week, some with built-in clocks and alarms to remind people when to take their medications.

Technology’s role in medication dispensation continues to grow more broadly in the market and will continue to be a part of senior living residents’ daily routines, observers believe, especially as the US Food and Drug Administration continues to approve such devices. Earlier this week, the FDA authorized an adaptive algorithm for automatic insulin delivery, removing the need to manually adjust insulin pump therapy settings, which proponents say could be a game changer for senior living residents with diabetes.