Monday, May 18, 2015

Totem...Taken or Not

Totem...Taken or Not

We did one of our favorite community activities...we call it the 'and' activity.  Each person in the community writes an idea on a piece of paper.  On Friday the question was "share an idea for how to identify whether or not you took your medication?"  Then we pass the paper with the idea to the right.  The person to the right adds to the idea and passes it to the person on their right.  An example:
1st person wrote: "Every time you take a daily dose of medication you have an item that inspires happy memories (like a picture or a memento) and you move that item along a game board.
2nd person wrote: "And you reward yourself when you complete a row"
3rd person wrote: "And take a picture of the item and text it to your son or daughter or whomever the item reminds you of and then they know you took your medication"
And so on....
After about 20 minutes five new stories of new ideas emerged.  We came up with ideas from coffee cups with lists of medication and indicators to matrices with a place to check off each time you took it associated to favorite TV show schedule to a log book to flipping the bottle of the taken dose over.

There were a few common patterns that were present in the ideas:

  1. Tactile and visual - every idea had a visual indicator and something you touched to move or indicate
  2. Reward - There was a reward associate with take the medication either a treat or moving along a game board or indulging in chocolate
  3. Purpose - A couple of the ideas leveraged an individual's purpose or interest to reinforce the positive habit of taking medication.  Example: taking medication so I can watch Jeopardy or so I can go golfing
  4. Place - Was important part of each idea.  Coffee table, kitchen counter, night stand.  Many had a strong association with place
  5. Order - All of the ideas had the medications already in good order, in the right place for the right times.  
Although we don't know if the next adaption of Pill Pouch will include a totem or  not it was a very helpful practice to understand the world that medication and health lives in and what are some potential barriers, obstacles and opportunities.   Until next week...

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