Organizing tip of the week – Organizing Medication. I was chatting with a friend and she asked me about some tips on organizing her parents’ medication. As our parents get older and we get more involved in their day-to-day routines, it is good to have a system for medication that is organized and safe. This will prevent accidents and taking medication at wrong times. Here are some helpful tips:
1) First, go through all the medication that have is on hand, break up into same type categories and dispose of expired medication (see bottle’s instructions to dispose of medication correctly).
2) Find a safe place to store all medication that is not being used.
3) Organize medication in either alphabetical order or by frequency of use. Now that you have the medication organized in one area, we will prepare the weekly pills.
4) Create and maintain an updated medication list on Excel or a shared Google Doc (you can give access to your siblings/other caregivers). Consider using the following categories: name of medication/strength, prescribing doctor and phone number, purpose (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.), dosage and comments.
5) Get a pill organizer and organize more than one week of pills at a time. Organizing one week of pills can be an exhausting task, instead of one week, try organizing pill boxes 1-2 months ahead of time (buy an extra pill organizer or a larger one).
6) Set reminders for taking medication – you can do this on your parents’ phone or buy a pill box that has automatic reminders.
7) Use a binder to track medication that was taken, I am not a huge fan of using paper but if your parent is not tech savvy, there are medication logs online that you can print and put in the binder. If you parents are comfortable with technology, you can create a spreadsheet.
8) Use one pharmacy – this will make refills easier and prevent drug interactions.
I hope these tips help and may we only have healthy days ahead!