Low Vision and Prescription Medication

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


A study by the National Institute of Health found that 55% of seniors take their medications incorrectly.  Many older people deal with normal age-related vision loss and others have low vision or blindness. According to the National Eye Institute, about 135 million people around the world have low vision.

There are some resources, including Assistive Technology (AT) available free of charge to help manage medications.

Devices Play Audio of Prescription Information

Talking Pill Reminder PackageWalgreens

The device that attaches to prescription containers is provided free of charge with prescription medications that Walgreens dispenses to its pharmacy customers who are blind or who have visual impairments. The Talking Pill Reminder can be recorded to speak the information on the customer’s prescription medication label, and also has an audible alarm to remind patients when to take a medication.

Scriptability LogoScriptAbility

Offered by En-Vision America, a company providing high-tech products aimed at solving problems for individuals with visual impairment, ScriptAbility includes Braille, large print and talking prescription labels.  Use the form on their website for a pharmacy near you or call ScriptAbility at 1-800-890-1180 and they will work with your pharmacist or help you find a pharmacy in your area.

Packaging Medications

These services package medications by day and time to help people in taking them correctly. They don’t necessarily help with issues like taking pills with or without food or other related information.

Assistive Technology for Purchase

Michigan Assistive Technology Program has a number of items in our inventory that can help with understanding prescription label information. These include:

  • Penfriend pointed to pill bottlePenfriend: Using this, you can label anything on to audio labels in your and play them back using the devices.
  • A variety of magnifying devices and apps, some with lights, some with stands and others that are handheld.
  • A variety of Android and Apple apps that can read printed information by scanning and then reading via audio.

MATP’s local demonstration sites have a variety of devices to help with medication management, including the Penfriend.

Other Accommodations

You can also request large print instructions and information to be provided by your pharmacy.

Additional Resources: