It is important to most people we spoke to that they manage their own medicines. However, many describe small ways that people close to them often help, such as reminding them to take their medicines. Other people receive more intensive help from a partner who manages their medicines, or from parents who assist financially or when they are particularly unwell. Adult family members sometimes prompt their parents to ‘do something’ to manage their medicines more effectively; this has led to the use of medication organisers or ‘dose aids’ for a number of the older people we spoke to about their medicines.
People say that a major aspect of taking multiple medicines is how and when to tell family, friends and colleagues about their medicines. There are times when it is an absolute necessity that other people know what they are taking; this can be a difficult task at times, particularly when taking a number of medicines is a new experience.
Most of the people we spoke to have been taking multiple medicines for a substantial period of time and have a number of helpful insights as to how they talk to the people in their lives about their medicines.