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Blog: Organizing For Special Needs
Tidbits for Managing Medications

Managing medications can be challenging, and frustrating at times. We have all forgotten to take our medications, and struggled with keeping track of the right time to take them. This can be especially difficult if it is a new medication, or have multiple health issues.

The key to remembering anything is Consistency, Structure, and Routine.
Create these for yourself and your life will be easier and less frenzied.

Seek support, you never know where you might find it. People love to be asked for their ideas. A good place to start is your pharmacist. If you can't open bottles, you can sign a form, and be given easy-open tops. My pharmacist talks about an idea for a service that would send a text message to your cell phone to remind you to take your meds, so let your technologically saavy friends in on this idea. If you carry your cell phone, you can also set your phone alarm.

It is recommended that meds be kept in light-proof containers, so use your judgement when putting meds in other containers. By no means would I leave my meds in a clear container on my kitchen table, with the sun shining directly on them.

There are many over the counter tools that you can buy.
These include: simple med cases, the Med Minder which has a timer with an alarm; wearing a multi-alarm watch to alert you to take you meds; keeping your meds for mid day in a keychain holder (you can keep a couple of days worth). Look online for more ideas.

Personal ideas for anyone who has trouble remembering, has vision problems, or has difficulty using their hands to open the small containers.

  • I like my space to look tidy and beautiful. If your environment isn't humid you can put your pills in tiny colored bowls. Each type can be in a different color. I used a little bowl that was probably meant for salt. I kept it right next to my bed, and would lean over and take my med before my feet even hit the floor. (Obviously if you have small children or pets who like to eat anything, this wouldn't be an option. My cat is very finicky.) I found this useful for a med which only needed to be taken in the morning.
  • My co-worker shares the story of her uncle with a vision and kidney problem. He used 3 rectangular plastic baby food containers for each day. He wrote the day of the week in large bold letters, and lined each day up side by side in a flat rectangular basket. This way he could easily see and pick up the pills for morning, afternoon, or night. He could quickly double check to see if he had taken the pills.
  • My mom sets up a month's worth of her meds in a med case, and keeps them on the coffee table. This way she just sits down and takes her meds after dinner, right before bed.
Think about your day and visualize what could work well for you. Take the time to set up a system.
Doing this now will save you a lot of confusion and contribute to your good health.

Lisa Alishio
Clarity Home Consulting

Live Well in Your Home

posted on: 11/7/2007 12:30:00 PM by Lisa Alishio
category: Special Populations

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Organizing For Special Needs

by Lisa Alishio

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About Lisa:

Lisa Alishio, COTA/L, is a professional organizer with a background in pediatric and adult occupational therapy. Her intention is to help people of all ages and abilities to "Live Well in their Home".

Lisa's Website:


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