Friday, 7 February 2014

Alzheimer's and a Medication Reminder...

This project is my attempt at helping my elderly parents remember to take their medication!  It might work for anyone who needs a visual reminder.

Mum and Dad both have Alzheimer's and can't really cope with technology, so even the simplest of digital reminder gadgets will end up wrapped in a teacosy and stuffed in a cupboard to muffle the bleeping (yes, it happened).

However, Mum responded really well to a technology-free wall calendar for appointments and she always appreciates anything I make for her, so this is what I came up with...

It's a wall hanger with two main pockets for medication - one pocket each for Mum and Dad, made from transparent PVC so the contents are visible for easy checking.  The top pocket is a place for notes and reminders.  I like that it's made from pretty fabric and isn't too utilitarian.  And I like that it will never ever bleep at her and stress her out!

Using PVC for the pockets means you can add post-it notes on the outside, too, if you need to add some temporary reminders or messages.

Each pocket is designed to accommodate a UK Nomad system blister pack, which makes the pockets a generous size for other medication too.  Each pocket measures approx 28cm x 18cm - there are pleats at the bottom of the pockets to create a gusset.  The blister packs measure 23cm x 18cm (the pack in the middle pocket is one of these - the plan is they'll both be using this system soon).  I'm sure other countries have similar systems but I'm not sure of the sizes.

You could make this in any size, and you may be happy to work out sizes to suit your own requirements, but if you'd like full instructions and cutting guides for this size, I will be making a more detailed downloadable pattern available that you can follow (there will be a small charge).

In the meantime, this is how to make a similar one:

Press all bindings under along all long edges and in half lengthways.

Bind the two sides of the top PVC pocket.

Bind the tops of the second two PVC pockets.

Place the pockets and fabric pocket backings onto the wadding and backing, starting with the top and working your way down.  The fabrics below form the hem of the PVC pockets above them as you go along.  The picture above might help you make sense of this idea!

Using clothes pegs helps hold the PVC in place without putting pin holes in your PVC.

Sew the top and bottom biding into place.  Position the tabs before adding the side binding.

Fold the binding in place around the tab and stitch to secure.

Hang on the wall somewhere prominent!

The main fabrics I used were kindly donated by Gütermann - the gorgeous French Cottage Flower and French Cottage Ornament 4 in collaboration with Craftseller magazine.

The clear PVC I used for the pockets was from Abakhan.

NOTE: If you use a directional print, like I did, be careful when cutting your bindings as you'll probably want the print all facing the same direction.


Mounika Reddy said...

Wow Wendy..
Nice gift to your parents and I must say you always rocks..

Teresa said...

A lovely idea, and much prettier than the 'standard' versions you see in the shops. It's interesting to know that Abakhan do the PVC - I've always wondered where to get that from. I hope that your gift makes life a little less complicated for your parents!