Helpful Hints

Making taking pills easier

There are a number of strategies to make managing pill taking easier and safer. Marking medication vials so that they can be recognized and distinguished apart is essential. The different vials can be marked with large, tactile letters to make them easier to identify. Letters can be drawn with something like Spot N Line Pens ($2.95) which come out as a liquid and then dries hard and tactile. We find the fluorescent orange color to be very effective. For example, a letter T drawn on the bottle cap would make it easier to identify the bottle of Tylenol. The letter C could stand for Colchicine.

Now that the different medication vials can be identified, the next task is to prepare them for daily use. Most patients take the same pills every day. Sorting them into a pill box that is larger and more visible can be very helpful ($4.95). We recommend sorting out the pills by using a black piece of cloth to offer good contrast with the mostly white or clear pills. These pills really stand out against the black cloth. Lastly, counting and sorting pills is always easier if the patient uses a good desk lamp to illuminate the pills on the black cloth as they come out of the vials.

Managing pills is a real challenge for low vision patients. However, using the combination of the strategies outlined above makes the task much easier.