Helen: Family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances – Challenges of explaining medicines to people

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

Age at interview: 58
Number of medicines: 10
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Helen has had to reassure her spouse that she is taking an appropriate number of medicines. At work she is able to make a joke of them.


So I've probably had questions asked … I've had questions asked about are you sure you should be taking this much? I've had to say the doctor has said that this is perfectly fine. This will not do me any harm. Yes, it's a good thing, and I'm going to be doing this for the foreseeable future. It is okay. So I've had to actually be reassuring that I'm not going over the top with all of the things that I'm taking.


Have you had to have a similar conversation with people you know less well?


No, it's a bit of joke at work, where I just say oh my God, my joints are creaking. I scramble round in the drawer for my tablets. I'll say I've forgotten to take my tablets again. So no, I just … because I figure people must see me popping pills at work, because I do it at my desk. So I've just turned it into a little bit of a funny thing. I work in Ageing anyway, so I just say listen, I'm joining our clients so I've got a better understanding.

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