Lesley: Routines with multiple medicines – Orderly strategies to support medication regimens

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

Age at interview: 74
Number of medicines: 25
Cultural background: Anglo-Australian

Lesley finds her medicines easy to manage because she keeps to a very precise routine.

With a new one … work out when you have to take it. Some are before meals, some are after meals. I take everything in exactly the same order each time, so then you don't get upset. All my medicines are in an ice-cream container. When it's time for them, I put the ones that I'm taking now on the left and the ones I'm not taking now on the right. I take them in the same order and put them back in the container as I have taken them. So if I am interrupted in the middle, I know where I'm up to.

With a new one, I'll just do the same thing. That will probably go after my normal medication. My chemist has asked me, do I want a Webster-pak. I said no, because I know exactly what I'm doing. I never forget anything. I can't understand people who say, I forgot to take such and such a tablet, because I don't ever forget. I'm used to now taking my needles in front of people without them even knowing what I'm doing. Like, if you're out for dinner and you take it before dinner, you just stick it in your stomach and nobody knows what you're doing. It looks like a pen. So no, it makes no difference to me if I do have to take an antibiotic or the cortisone or something. I always take two lots of antibiotics with an asthma attack as well as cortisone for 10 days. So they just add on to my others. Yep, no problem.

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