Pharmacists play a role as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team for older adults. Their role is critical in improving the patient’s care and life.

5 WAYS PHARMACISTS CAN HELP YOUR AGING ADULTFor older adults, it can be helpful to develop a relationship with a pharmacist and use the same pharmacist regularly. As pharmacists learn about an individual’s unique needs and circumstances, they can help provide consistent care and help prevent drug-related problems.

Pharmacists are often the most accessible health care practitioner. They can give patients drug information, monitor use, and act as a liaison between physicians and patients. Additionally, they can provide information on interactions between drugs, other medications, supplements, and food.

An interdisciplinary care team for the elderly

Pharmacists do more than just give out prescription medication. They are valuable members of a larger interdisciplinary team caring for an older individual. As part of a healthcare team, pharmacists can improve an elderly patient’s care. They can make recommendations in many areas, including:

• Dosing and administration
• Adverse drug reactions
• Intravenous drug compatibility
• Drug monitoring
• Guidelines for treatment
• Approved and off-label indications

5 WAYS PHARMACISTS CAN HELP YOUR AGING ADULT

Medication use and adherence
Pharmacists can educate older adults and their families on how to take certain drugs. Instructions can be especially helpful with things like injectables, drops, inhalers, or patches that are more complicated.

Medication management
The average adult over age 65 takes between 14 and 18 different prescription medications each year. Pharmacists can educate older adults on how these medications help them with their condition (agingcare.com). By keeping communication lines open between the patient, pharmacist and doctor, the pharmacist can help the patient manage their multiple prescriptions.

Tailored care
Pharmacists can provide tailored care to individuals who may need it, including:
• Supplying drugs to patients in ways that are accessible to them, such as providing easy open bottles or pills without wrappers.
• Having drug labels and printed material in large type and in the patient’s native language so they are easy to read.

Source of information for the patient and family
In addition to providing information on drug interactions and side effects, pharmacists can also teach seniors and their families how to use drug calendar reminders, drug dispensing devices and pill crushers. Having these valuable tools can save time and frustration down the road.

Positive Health Outcomes
As pharmacists help with medication adherence, a patient’s health can improve. One study showed that the pharmacist’s role helped lead to a reduction in falls and better medicine optimization (pharmacymagazine.co.uk). As pharmacists better understand a patient’s condition they can offer alternative medications that may work better for the patient.

If you need help with an aging adult, give us a call!

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