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Managing your medicines

Managing Your Medicines Panel

Taking your medications as prescribed is crucial for maintaining good health, particularly for older adults living independently. However, managing multiple medications can be challenging, leading to missed doses, confusion, and frustration.

Common scenarios and concernsLifestyle and equipment options to help you

Difficulty remembering to take medications: Missed doses can impact treatment effectiveness.

This can lead to missed appointments and potential health complications.

Reminders: Use alarms, medication organisers, or apps. 

Routine: Integrate medication times into your daily routine.

Confusion about medication instructions: Misunderstanding dosages or interactions can be harmful.

This can lead to ineffective treatment, potential side effects.

Clarity: Keep a clear medication list with instructions. 

Ask questions: Don't hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist for clarification.

Difficulty managing multiple medications: Managing numerous medications can be overwhelming.

This can lead to missed or incorrect doses, frustration, and decreased adherence.

Organisation: Use pill organisers or medication dispensers. 

Simplify: Ask your doctor about reducing unnecessary medications.


Taking your medications as prescribed is crucial for maintaining good health, particularly for older adults living independently. However, managing multiple medications can be challenging, leading to missed doses, confusion, and frustration.

Common challenges in managing medications

  • Remembering to take medications: Remembering to take medications at the right time and frequency can be difficult, especially with multiple prescriptions. Missed doses can negatively impact treatment effectiveness and potentially lead to health complications.
  • Understanding medication instructions: Confusing medication instructions, dosages, or schedules can lead to taking the wrong medication at the wrong time or in the wrong amount. This can be detrimental to your health and cause side effects.
  • Managing multiple medications: Juggling numerous medications can be overwhelming, leading to missed or incorrect doses. This can decrease medication adherence, hindering the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

Tips for effective medication management

  • Develop a routine: Integrate medication times into your daily routine, like taking them after breakfast or before bed. This creates consistency and makes it easier to remember.
  • Utilise reminders: Set alarms on your phone or use medication reminder apps to receive notifications when it's time to take your medication.
  • Invest in organisers: Utilise pill organisers or medication dispensers. These tools help you pre-portion your medication for the week or month, ensuring you have the right dosage readily available.

Maintaining clarity and communication

  • Create a medication list: Maintain a clear and up-to-date list of all your medications, including their names, dosages, frequencies, and instructions.
  • Don't hesitate to ask: If you're unsure about any aspect of your medication, including how to take it, potential side effects, or interactions with other drugs, don't hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist. They are there to address your concerns and ensure you understand your medication regimen fully.

Additional tips for successful medication management

  • Schedule medication reviews: Regularly consult your doctor or pharmacist to review your medication regimen. This ensures your medications remain appropriate and effective for your current health needs.
  • Consider simplified medication schedules: If possible, discuss with your doctor the possibility of simplifying your medication schedule. Combining medications or reducing the frequency of certain medications, when appropriate, can improve adherence and reduce confusion.
  • Store medications safely: Keep your medications in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and out of reach of children and pets. Ensure proper storage to maintain their effectiveness and prevent accidental ingestion.

Where to buy equipment and technology to help you manage your medicines

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.


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