Arlene’s Success Story
“I have got my life back”
For years, Arlene struggled to keep track of her medication, due to irregular sleep patterns, that would adversely affect her overall health and lifestyle. She would often miss dosages or forget that she had already taken her medicines and retake them, resulting in the prescribed medications being ineffective in supporting her mental health. Sadly, Arlene’s life choices were limited; she disengaged from meeting friends and family, enjoying her hobbies and managing everyday living. Unfortunately, she isn’t alone; more than 15 million people, 30% of the UK population, live with one or more long-term conditions, and more than 4 million of these people will also have a mental health problem*
In early 2022 Wigan Council partnered with YOURmeds to test YOURmeds Switch, an innovative smart medication management system to offer virtual medication reminders rather than physical visits through their domiciliary care provider, PCS. One of these users was Arlene, and in June, she started to use the YOURmeds Switch to help her take back control of her medication routine. Three months on, Arlene has said that the YOURmeds Switch has acted as a turning point in getting her life back.
“I’m not so tired because I’m taking the medicines as and when I should. So, it means I’m going out. It means I’m meeting other people. I’ve joined a group and been taking my brother to places.”
Each month Arlene receives her blister packs from the local pharmacy with her prescribed medication. These are inserted into the YOURmeds Switch, and a personalised schedule is uploaded to the devices tag. The YOURmeds Switch then alerts Arlene when it is time to take her medication, and she simply has to match the number displayed on the tag with the corresponding pod on the pack. If Arlene misses a dosage or takes the wrong medications, the YOURmeds Switch alerts her designated supporters, currently PCS with a view to ultimately engaging family and friends to become part of her network of support. PCS can then provide Arlene with additional help when she might require it.
“My counsellor said she’d noticed a big difference in me because I’m more alert. In addition, my memory has improved with taking the medicines at the correct times.”
Through the use of the YOURmeds Switch, Arlene has even seen a considerable improvement in her sleep quality. As she is taking her medications at the right time, her sleeping pattern has improved, giving her more energy to live her life. As a result, she has started spending time with friends and family and doing the things she loves to do. Her carers were also able to support her from a distance, tracking her progress through an online portal.
If you are like Arlene or know someone who is, then the YOURmeds Switch can help you take control of your medications and improve your quality of life – without losing independence.
Wigan Council were able to repurpose 4 hours of care per week supporting Arlene with her medication, providing a return on investment of 4 times. With winter pressures around the corner, the council was keen to see how to maximise carer resources by offering virtual support through digital technology and increase capacity in the system to bring additional service users into. Service users demonstrated increased independence, and improved health outcomes through improved medication adherence. To learn more about their YOURmeds journey, you can read the full success story here.
* Naylor, C., Parsonage, M., McDaid, D., Knapp, M., Fossy, M., & Galea, A. (2012). Long-term conditions and mental health – The cost of co-morbidities. London: The King’s Fund, & Centre for Mental Health.