Karen: Organising and storing medicines – Safety as the primary consideration

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

Age at interview: 37
Number of medicines: 8
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Karen is very close to her niece and nephew. She puts her medicines out of their reach when they come to visit, which is a frequent event.

So childproofing the house always becomes interesting, when they come to stay ... just, you know, making sure the medications are sort of out of their reach ... they're both ... I've got other nieces and nephews, but these two I see really regularly and they come and stay each holidays for a few days. They're both really good, but my nephew is 12 and it's only a matter of time until he's going to become much more curious about it and stuff and I need to be conscious of that and my niece, who is seven, is a nice age where she's old enough to know not to touch it and young enough not to have that teenage curiosity ... She just said ‘I can't, so I shouldn’t ...’ In that respect, she's at a really good age. 

Then I had my brother come for Australia Day weekend, who lives up the coast and his children are younger ... his youngest is only three, so it was a matter of making sure everything was away, out of sight, out of reach, but when my back's bad, me reaching up causes back spasms, so I don't normally have things up high that I need to get to regularly. 

So yeah, I get very conscious of making sure ... living on my own, it's not an issue most of the time, but I do ... but when the kids come, it's ‘OK, I need to pack all this away.’

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