UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Helping older people manage their medications: the MEMORABLE study

27 September 2018

As people get older, the likelihood of taking daily pills for a variety of health conditions increases. But dealing with lots of tablets makes managing them more difficult.

Memorable Study

This article has been reproduced from the Join Dementia Research website.

Sometimes people forget or choose not to take them for a number of different reasons.

Poor medication management can limit the benefits from the pills. It can have cost implications for the NHS. For people with dementia and memory problems, taking the right pills at the right time can be particularly difficult.

A National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)-funded project is underway to look at how this can be improved. The MEMORABLE study aims to improve the way older people are able to manage their medications, particularly where this involves taking a lot of different pills. The project is led by Dr Ian Maidment and supported by a small team of clinicians, researchers and patients/carers, all expert in their own areas.

As part of the project, the team have looked at what has already been written about medication management. They have also talked to older people, carers, doctors, nurses and pharmacists to understand their day-to-day experiences and what they think would make managing medications better and easier.

By knowing more about their first-hand experience, the study team will then make suggestions about how medication management might be improved.

46 older people, their carers and doctors, nurses and pharmacists have been interviewed as part of the research. Seven were recruited through Join Dementia Research.

“Join Dementia Research was really useful in helping deliver MEMORABLE to time and target,” said Dr Maidment. “In addition to helping with recruitment, they raised the profile of the study. Registration was straight-forward. If you have a research project in dementia, I would strongly recommend using the service.”