Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

Build your own pill organizer

By Sheryl Jedlinski

Does your complicated dosing regimen make it difficult for you to take your medication “on time, every time?” Do you inadvertently skip doses on a regular basis, hampering the successful management of the symptoms and side effects of Parkinson’s disease? Is it reasonable for your doctor to expect you to take a total of 20, 30, or 40 pills a day in unique combinations and over multiple dosing periods without so much as a hiccup? It is doable with the support of additional resources, like a good organizational system, advance planning, and someone to help maintain your medicine inventory. The challenge is these are not things you can readily purchase.

A born problem solver, my husband, Tony, took matters into his own hands and designed a pill organizer that may be just what your doctor ordered to improve your on-time performance, and therefore your health and quality of life. (Full directions for replicating his invention can be found at the end of this article) Unlike most of his gadgets, Tony’s pill organizer is “no tech.” It does not plug in, light up, or make noise, and it is so easy to use, it requires little training.

Comprised of a “chain” of plastic pouches that fold into a compact bundle, Tony’s pill organizer fits in almost any size purse. It is flexible enough to hold pills of a wide variety of sizes and shapes and is easily expandable as dosing regimens change. Each pouch is filled with the specific pills required for that dose and labelled with the time it is to be taken.

Tony sorts, counts, fills, and organizes my pills a week at a time, enabling him to:

  • Know when a particular med is running low and order more before we are out.
  • See whether I occasionally miss a dose and suffer any adverse effects.
  • Keep pills clean and dry.

Follow these simple steps to make your own pill organizer:

  1. Buy enough pill pouches (about a nickel each at Walgreen’s) for a week’s worth of meds. My magic number is 56 as I take eight doses a day.
  2. Attach one day’s bags to one another with red plaid Scotch tape across the front and back. Make up and label one strip for each day of the week.
  3. Lay the strips out on a table and remove enough meds from their containers to make seven lines of pills for the first dose. (See photo).
  4. Transfer pills into the first pouch of each strip, counting as you go, and sealing after filling.
  5. Repeat steps 3 – 4 for each of the other medication times.
  6. Store the completed strips in a safe location, ready to grab on your way out the door. Carry each day’s strip wherever you go.
  7. Save the empty strips to re-use to make up another set of organizers. Pouches last six months or so before the re-closable zippers start to fail, and the lettering wears off the bags.

We are not selling anything. Sharing ideas that work for us is our way of giving back and saying thanks to the Parkinson’s community for all it has given us over the years.

One comment on “Build your own pill organizer

  1. Larry Williams
    December 15, 2018

    Tony, this And you, are one of a kind and unbelievable! Most certainly this will go in the Smithsonian 😃 Larry and Tem

    Sent from my iPhone


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This entry was posted on December 15, 2018 by in Back to Normal, Coping Strategies, Drugs, Family Life, supplements, Treatments.

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