Christmas is just around the corner, and folks up and down the country will be getting ready for the festive season. For most, this means buying presents for loved ones or making sure you’ve got all your food ready for the Christmas Day feast. However, it’s all too easy to forget to stock up on medication-an oversight that could have serious consequences given that doctor’s surgeries and pharmacies operate at reduced opening hours over this period. This is even more important if you have a health condition that requires medication.
According to the medication management app Echo, one in six people in the UK have run out of medication at Christmas.
Please find the findings from Echo’s research below and some top tips from Alistair Murray, Clinical Director. Case studies are available on request.
- One in six (17%) Brits on repeat prescriptions have run out of medication at Christmas, but making sure they have enough medication falls far down the list of priorities around the festive season.
- For this group, buying and sending presents, taking part in general Christmas traditions with the family and meeting up with friends and loved ones come above managing medication supply for the Christmas season, when pharmacies are often closed.
- Overall, 43% of people said they are not likely to think about anything to do with their health during and after the Christmas period.
Top tips to look after your health this Christmas
- Be kind to yourself
“Although Christmas is traditionally a time to treat and spoil others, try to ensure that the never-ending lists or the crowded house isn’t putting a strain on your health.
Early preparation for the festive season can be a good way to avoid any unnecessary stress. That way you won’t have to rush to buy last-minute gifts or food before the shops close on Christmas Eve. The same applies to your medication. If you have a repeat prescription, or even if you sometimes need over-the-counter medication, make sure that you have enough to last you the festive season as many pharmacies can close for bank holidays. Ordering through the Echo app can make this process even easier by sending the medication directly to your door—leaving you to concentrate on the turkey and the Christmas tree.”
- Go easy on the food and booze
“Let’s be honest—a lot of Christmas can centre around the food and drink. Not only do many households have a big dinner on the day, but the days in the run-up to Christmas tend to be jam-packed with parties and drinks with friends and family. Whilst the odd mince pie or mulled wine isn’t going to have a significant impact on your long-term health, try not to over-indulge! Keeping tabs on the amount of alcohol and snacks you consume will help you to remain healthy whilst still enjoying the festive season!”
- Don’t be afraid to say no
“There can be a lot of pressure over the Christmas and New Year period to attend multiple events and meet up with friends or family that you don’t often see. However, this can be overwhelming for some people. Be honest with yourself and the people around you, and don’t be afraid to cancel plans if a situation is too taxing. Me time at Christmas is also important.”
- Help others
“Christmas can be a lonely time for some, particularly the elderly, so checking in on your neighbours can help to brighten their spirits and bring them some festive cheer. If it’s icy or snowing you may also struggle to get out of the house, so picking up food/medications or other essentials can be helpful. To make life easier for carers, Echo has introduced a function on the app which allows individuals to manage the medication of their loved ones. This will mean peace of mind that the medication will be ordered and delivered on time.”
- Keep up your active lifestyle
“It can be easy at Christmas to laze around on the sofa and watch all the Christmas specials on the TV, especially after a large lunch. Going out for a walk on Christmas or playing a game with the family can be a great way to spend quality time together and get the blood pumping. Christmas is a time for relaxation so it’s important to retain a healthy, active lifestyle; both for your physical health but also for your mental health.”