Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Making complicated things easy

I have lots of little systems set up in the house to simplify things a bit when I'm not around and there are other caregivers here. Dean likes when I have things set up and easy for him, and we have PCA's (Personal Care Assistants) here periodically who need to be able to easily see what's going on. I try to make everything as visual as possible in case someone can't reach me if there is a question. Like, when I go out of the country to bring another Spring home!

One of the systems I have set up is for medication dispensing. Three of the kids take an assortment of medications and vitamins.

I know all the information, who gets what, and what dosages in my head. But for Dean, or other caregivers, opening this every morning can be a bit intimidating! (this is only 1/2 of the bottles!)

I have needed a way to dispense medications for a month at a time. When I went to Serbia to bring Axel home it was easy because Angela was the only kid here. With each trip to bring home a new child I have had to streamline things even more.

I've tried lots of different medication dispensers. First there was this one. The days click together so you can take just one day with your, or a full week, etc. (this is necessary for us.) But, noticed they are taped shut? Yeah they don't stay closed very well! Dispenser fail!

Here is a single dose dispenser. It works well enough, but 
they don't stack very well so they fall all over the place. 

This one stacks well enough, but you cannot
separate the days to take meds with you.

This has been my favorite. 
It is clear so I can easily see what meds
haven't been taken. 

Each day can be removed to take with you, or I can take an entire week and not have the individual cases falling out all over the place. 

It stacks well.

What I don't like is that the print the stickers rubs off after just a few weeks. When I first looked
the company didn't sell replacement stickers. Now I can't find this dispenser in stores anymore. Also, the sliding lids do need to be taped when I take individual days with me, otherwise they slide open, spilling pills everywhere. 

So, I'm looking to re-do my medication dispensing system. It needs to have the following features:

1) stacks easily without falling all over the place. This means it must be perfectly FLAT.
2) No rainbow colors. I need something that is solid color, but available in multiple colors. For example, I could have one set that is all green, one that is all blue, one that is all red, so each kid has their own color. Just clear is ok, because I can use nail polish or something to color code them.
3) the lids need to be secure so they can't accidentally open in my purse.
4) I need to be able to take a full week with me and the individual days  all stay together.


Tamara said...

Good luck ... You have a lot of requirements - but at least you know what they are. I just use one of those monthly plastic deals. Lids have never been a problem. Mine don't separate, so if we're going somewhere, I have to transfer them to a different one. I have weekly ones and three-day ones that work for weekends away.

the.lilangel said...

Would this work?

Melissa said...

I have three different pill containers for three different needs. My oldest sons is an AM/Lunch/Pm/Dinner one and it stays shut really well, is quite stiff to open. My middle son has an extra large set with am and pm in separate containers. My youngest son has one similar to one of yours but it is easier for him to open than the stiff ones, plus we use a magnetic days of the week reminder for which days to take his meds. All extra meds are in a locked cupboard in a sort of pull out cart thing, with a MAR next to them. That's how we do it. I only dispense a week at a time because meds are always changing around here, and they drilled it in to to us in nursing school never to dispense from memory, so I don't:)Hope that helps.

Ali Rae said...

Maybe this will work?