How Does a Pharmacist Help Older Adults?
It’s easy to forget just how important a pharmacist can be for senior care. Many age-related conditions often require multiple medications. In fact, 39% of US adults over the age of 65 take more than five prescription medications daily. Keeping track of when these medications should be taken, what they do, and what they interact with can be a challenge. Your local pharmacist is a vital resource. They can advise on medication interactions, answer your questions about side effects, and more! You won’t find better medication help for seniors in your community.
Using the same pharmacy consistently or taking care to inform health care personnel the medications, vitamins, and supplements you take lowers the chance of interactions. A senior care pharmacist familiar with your medical history can make accurate decisions without any guesswork. Having a primary care provider and staying loyal to the same pharmacy also creates a relationship between you and the staff. And the better the staff knows you, the better the senior care you receive will be.
Interactions & Overdoses
Before heading to the pharmacy, write down any questions you have ahead of time, so you don’t forget. Maintaining and bringing a list of each medication – prescription and OTC – you take and giving it to your pharmacist, is also a big help! After all, even the best medication help for seniors can only do so much without the right information.
Your senior care pharmacist can review it to advise you on which over the counter (OTC) medications and dietary supplements may cause interactions with your prescriptions. For instance, those with high blood pressure should avoid certain decongestants.
One of the main drivers of medication help for seniors is safety. Your pharmacist will also be able to guide you on which brand names and prescriptions that contain the same active ingredients to prevent a potential overdose. For example, acetaminophen is the active ingredient in OTC headache and pain relievers, cold remedies, and in prescription medications. Too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage, so it’s important to know which medications it is in.
Be Proactive When Medications Go Wrong
Sometimes, medications can hurt more than they help. If this happens, don’t be afraid to speak up, especially if you think a mistake has been made with your prescription. Questions are a natural part of senior care and your pharmacist understands that. If you are experiencing a negative side effect, don’t stop taking the medication abruptly, as this could have an adverse effect on your health. Instead, alert your doctor or pharmacist right away. They will work with you to find a better medication for you and include the information in their system, so you aren’t prescribed the negative-affecting medication in the future.
Forming a relationship with your pharmacist can make you feel more comfortable asking questions and prevent medication interactions and overdoses. The fact is your pharmacist plays an important role in senior care and can overall help make you healthier.
Experience Meaningful Senior Care at Luther Manor
At Luther Manor, we believe that senior care should not only allow you to age in place but give you complete peace of mind as well. Our non-profit life plan community is committed to work with you and your loved ones to discover the right level of care that will help you thrive.
We know that when it comes to senior living, there are no shortages of questions. But we’re here to give you answers. Contact our caring team today to learn more about how we preserve independence through compassion.