Glenn: Forgetting and remembering to take medicines – Strategies that help people remember to take medicines

Listen to patients and health professionals speak about their experience with taking multiple medicines.

Age at interview: 50
Number of medicines: 6
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Glenn has tried various reminders, but problems with remembering to take his medicines have persisted. He is looking into getting an implant for one of his medicines to partly address this problem.

So I would persist in trying to find ways, by setting alarms on watches, setting alarms on telephones, mobile phones. Having the correct number of tablets in a little pill box that I was going to need a day, thinking that, well, if I was … I've only got to take one of these, so that one's been taken out and gone, so I must have taken that one. But then there was times that I was working very, very long hours and I'd have to take extra tablets and you'd want to get the job finished and just spending that five minutes to stop, take a tablet, was too much time. I just found myself bouncing up and down, because I was taking tablets, but not regularly. So they were doing their job, not doing their job. I had to then try and find another way.

I then found the NPS app for an iPhone, which is currently on my phone and I use. Even though the alarms go off, I still sometimes don't take my tablets, because I might be doing something, or my phone may not be right where I am. It could be in another room and I might not hear it go off, or I could be working downstairs. I will just … it's not a case of just forgetting for that minute. I won't remember until I've actually got to take my tablets the next time, until it next goes off and then I go, oh, did I take my last ones? I don't know. Don't double up, and things like that.

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The Living with multiple medicines project was developed in collaboration with Healthtalk Australia.