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When accidents happen with chemicals, medicine, or household items, call Poison Help. Get help right away from a local poison expert.

If someone is unconscious or has trouble breathing, call 911.

Taking Your Medicines Safely

The TYMS program provides training to anyone interested in facilitating/delivering an education program for older adults. Ideal settings for an education program include senior centers, community recreation centers, libraries or churches. Visit the National Council on Aging  to view an archived webinar about implementing the TYMS program in your community.

(If you are not interested in facilitating a program for older adults and simply want to get more information about medication safety, please view our Safe Medicine Use and Poison Prevention Tips (PDF - 7 pages) brochure.)

The TYMS program covers: 

  1. potential problems of taking prescription medicines with over-the-counter products;
  2. ways to keep track of medicines; 
  3. questions older adults should ask about their medicine; and 
  4. the free and confidential services provided by the nation’s poison centers.

Program Components

Leader Guide (PPT - 5.7 MB) | Leader Guide (PDF - 3.2 MB)
A step-by-step instruction manual to prepare you, the program leader, to deliver the TYMS program. It also includes a suggested script for each portion of the program.You should review this guide to become familiar with the program and the format in which to present the material.  

Presentation Slides (PPT - 9MB)
A TYMS Program slide presentation for you to review with the participants.

Promotional Flyer (PDF - 1 page)
A one-page handout to promote the TYMS Program. It includes spaces for you to fill in the date, time and location of your program. This flyer may also be posted on bulletin boards, distributed in individual resident mailboxes (if applicable for senior centers or other facilities) or included with monthly newsletters or menus.

Participant Guide (PDF - 17 pages)
A booklet that you should provide to each participant so that they can follow along with the program and take notes. Be sure to print a copy for each participant.  

Program References (PDF - 3 pages)
A list of the books, articles, publications and authors consulted or referred to in the program materials. This may be used to verify information or identify areas for further research.

Medicine Safety Review Quiz 
This online quiz provides a way to assess your knowledge and identify areas requiring review. Program leaders are encouraged to take the quiz after reading through the Leader Guide.  

Additional Resources

Safe Medication Disposal:

How to Dispose of Unused Medicines

Medication Safety Information in Spanish:

Su medicamento: Infórmese. Evite riesgos. (PDF - 22 pages)

Información en español - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality