“Medication & Supplement Organization” is eleventh in a series of articles featuring techniques for decluttering your home—one room at a time. As owner of Joyful DOWNSIZING and a Sun Lakes resident, I am passionate about helping boomers and seniors declutter to simplify their lives, organize remaining items, downsize unwanted stuff, and be ready for any type of future transition, whether a surprise or planned.
This month, we will tackle Medications & Supplements.
Use a Pill Organizer
They’re simple, cheap, and can be found in pharmacies and most discount stores. They come with separate sections for days of the week and times of the day to allow you to sort drugs according to exactly when you need to take them.
Most medications can be stored in compartments with other drugs for short periods of time without interacting. But check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure.
Or ask your pharmacy for pills that come in “multi-dose” packages. They group meds that need to be taken together into packets marked with the date and time. Amazon has a program to simplify this process called Pill Pack. Don’t order too many in advance in case there’s a change in your prescriptions.
Set a Schedule
It’s easier to remember your pills if you take them at the same time and in the same place, preferably at home. It’s even better if you coordinate your pill schedule to your regular routine, like taking with breakfast or when you brush your teeth at night.
Make and keep a plan for refilling your pill organizer. Do it on the same day each week or each month.
Keep Your Pills in One Place
It will help keep you from forgetting to take your meds. Choose an obvious, visible location, like your nightstand or dresser, or next to the coffee maker. Avoid storing in damp bathrooms.
If someone else in your household takes medications, too, consider keeping theirs in the same place, too. But be sure you can easily identify which pills belong to whom. Try different colored pill boxes with clear labeling.
Set an Alarm
Use your phone, computer, Alexa, or watch to remind you to take your pills. Program your phone or computer to send you an email or text message when it’s time for your meds.
Make a Checklist
Create a written chart that shows medication name, dose, when to take and what the pill looks like.
Talk to Your Doctor and Pharmacist
If taking a medication several times a day is confusing, ask your doctor to prescribe an alternative that can be taken less frequently. Your drugstore’s computer system stores a list of your medications. If you’re on a Medicare drug plan, you may be eligible for medication counseling through a free program called Medication Therapy Management.
Where to Disposal of Meds
In most pharmacies, there is a medication disposal bin which looks like a mailbox. Take an extra minute to safely dispose of unwanted meds.
Future articles will feature the office—paper, office—digital, craft room, auto. Stay tuned.