by Good Girl Gordie
I assisted an overwhelmed family member who has to take more than 20 medications
multiple times a day. Filling the daily pill boxes takes an enormous amount of time and
interruptions can be devastating to the process. The boxes can spill out and create
more confusion. So I made a flip chart for the medications, based on pilot and hospital
flip charts for procedures. The physical flipping of individual cards keeps your place if
interrupted. It will take time to set this up but will be quick to maintain once completed.
This solution was inspired by having read “The Organized Mind” by Daniel J. Levitin
I use 3×5 notecards, a hole punch, a pencil, a magnifying glass to read the pill codes,
and a snap ring to keep the cards together. Six cardboard dividers separate the times of
day are labeled : Wake, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sleep, and As Needed. Each
medication has one informational card for the first dose placed in the appropriate time
section. Multiple cards for repeated dosages of the same medication need only have a
medication name and number i.e. 2 of 3 or 3 of 3 placed in their proper time section.
Since doctors may change a dose often, add or toss a card away, or reshuffle to the
appropriate time section. A long paper list can become unreadable with frequent
changes and cross outs. The stack of cards can grow or shrink as needed. The flexibility
of the flip system will customize to each person’s requirements. Use the back of a card
for reorder dates or paste a mini calendar printed from an online source as a checklist.
The chart should be stored where the pill bottles are kept. A ringed planner could be
used as well.
Below is my suggestion for an informational card. You need not duplicate much of the
information from the bottles or prescription sheets but write a few words for the most
important data of value to you. Stickers and decorative tape can help a person with low
vision match a card to a bottle.
- Med name/mg: (copied from bottle)
- Shape/Color/Code#: (to help identify the pill, this will change with different manufacturers)
- Why: (you can forget what the med is for if it has been used long term) Rules: (i.e.-no calcium an hour before or after)
Upper right corner is the card number ( 1of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3 or take 2 )
Here is an example.
I hope sharing this can ease a dreaded routine for someone. Thank you for reading this
Good Girl Gordie