Getting complex medication regimes right for people living alone at home

Challenge sponsor

Parkinson’s UK is a national charity driving better care, treatments and quality of life to individuals living with Parkinson’s.  It achieves this in three key ways. Firstly it provides expert information to thousands of people affected by Parkinson’s through its support and information services.  The charity also funds research and engages and empowers those affected by the condition to become actively involved through its growing Research Support Network.  Providing vital support is another key strand of the work.  Each year Parkinson’s UK connects thousands of people with Parkinson’s with others living with the condition through its peer support service and networks of local groups, self-management groups and also its online forums.

Challenge scenario

Bobby is 75, and lives in Perth. His wife died suddenly six months ago. Bobby has had Parkinson’s for 11 years, and now needs to take different combinations of tablets five times a day to manage his symptoms. He has a consultant and Parkinson’s nurse, who he sees once a year about his Parkinson’s.

Bobby’s wife used to manage his medication for him, and since she died, he is finding it really difficult to remember when to take his tablets. He often gets mixed up. This has had a major impact on his Parkinson’s. When he misses his medicine, he slows right down until he is barely able to move, and becomes very anxious and upset. He has fallen a few times, which has really affected his confidence, so he doesn’t like going out of the house anymore. If he gets his night-time medication wrong, he is completely unable to sleep. He is finding it hard to manage his groceries and cooking for himself and is losing weight.

Bobby has a son who lives in London with his family. He has good friends living nearby.  He is adamant that he wants to stay in his house and is scared of telling anyone what is happening in case he is unable to stay at home.

How might Bobby’s need for more support to manage his condition and medication be identified, and enable him to stay at home for as long as possible?