Being accountable for your own health is the first step in being healthy! However, when you have slews of pills to take at different times of the day, it can be hard to do it right. Do you have a lot of pills to take or know someone who does? Maybe it is medication for a medical condition, or nutritional supplements . . . It can be confusing to track different pills. I'll show you step by step how we organized one woman's 20+ pills a day.
Know What You Are Taking & When You Should Take It
Before you take anything, there are a few things that you should be sure of:
- be aware of what it is and why you are taking it
- understand possible side effects
- understand the amount, frequency and timing of dosage
Let's assume that you already know the first two points and really dive into how to track the third point.
In this case, there were multiple times of day that different pills, drops and powders need to be taken. The first thing we did was take the various directions for the supplements and charted out the amount and timing. Here is a picture of the chart:
The supplements/ medication was listed down a column and the various times of day that the medications were to be taken were identified in their own specific columns.
Once we charted it out, we found that there were 7 distinct times of day that different things needed to be concumed.
Communicate the Chart
We printed multiple copies of the chart and then distributed to specific locations.
- Inside cabinet door where medication was stored
- Family members so that they would know what she was taking and when
Get the Right Tools
There are a number of tools on the market to help you organize your pills. This time, we had a few criteria:
Did not want to spend a lot on pill organizers
- She did not want to spend a lot on pill organizers
- She wanted the flexibility to put her pills in different locations of her house (for example, her first set is to be taken 20 minutes before breakfast, so she wanted to keep those in her bathroom so that she could take them when she woke up.)
So, we went to Walgreens and got 7 of their 99 cent clear plastic pill organizers. One for each time of day that something needed to be taken.
You have heard me say this before. The more you label the more successful you will be with any change that you are trying to do. Even if you have a good memory, when you are stressed or under pressure, it is very possible for your memory to fail you. LABEL!
We took a black sharpie marker and wrote on the tops of each pill bottle. We wrote the amount and when each item should be taken (not shown in the picture - we later added what each pill was so that the tops could be matched to the bottoms should they get separated.)
Then a Red sharpie marker (no real reason why the color difference, she just likes red) and wrote directly onto the pill organizers.
We wrote WHAT the pills were on the bottom of the organizer.
And we wrote WHEN they should be taken on the side of the organizer. Here is the finished result. All 7 containers with a week's worth of pills, labeled and ready to go.
What do you do to keep all of your medications straight? How do you make sure that you are doing what your health advisor wants you to do? Share your thoughts and resources below!