By Dr. Marion Somers, Ph. D., Ask Dr. Marion

QUESTION: My mother takes up to 15 pills every day and it's becoming difficult to keep everything straight. How do you manage this problem with your clients? Mitch in Massachusetts, 39

ANSWER: Great question, Mitch, and an important one, too. The best way to keep your mother's daily intake of medication straight is to come up with a system. I'm talking about organizing them in a pill box or similar fashion so she knows what, when, and how many she needs to take. Once the system is in place, it needs to be clearly understood by your mother and any other family members who are trying to help the situation.

All medications also need to be clearly organized with the correct dosage, frequency, time of day, and which ones are taken with food or other specific instructions. Make sure the medications are filled in a timely manner, and have all of this information written out and put on the refrigerator door in case a box of medication is dropped or lost or other confusion ensues. Most of my clients have two med boxes in case something goes wrong. Also, be sure your mother can open the containers, caps, and boxes that hold the medications. Ask your pharmacist about special easy-to-open medical/recapping covers if that pertains to your mother.

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