Seniors urged to connect with pharmacists to increase wellness, medication knowledge
During Older Americans Month, the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) encourages America's seniors to connect with their pharmacist to gain better knowledge of the medications they are taking and available wellness opportunities.
As the most accessible health care provider and the medication experts, pharmacists are ready to discuss many of the issues that arise due to medications and age.
Thanks in part to advances in health care, education, technology and financial stability over the last several decades, seniors are living longer and are more committed to better standards of living, increased lifestyle choices and more involvement in decision making - from the community level to their personal health care. Your pharmacist can help sort out any confusion you may have about the medications you are taking, answer questions and assist in better decision making. This relationship can provide you with better control over your medications and can ultimately result in fewer side effects and interactions, resulting in a better quality of living. The pharmacist is also a great resource for care-givers and family members who may have questions about the medications a relative or person in their care may be taking.
Talk with your pharmacist today about the many ways they can help you understand your medications and improve your health and lifestyle. Some discussion topics may include:
Understanding your medications, how to correctly take them, what they do and why you are taking them.
Understanding brand vs. generic prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) and herbal supplements and how they may interact with one another.
Reading a label correctly, including warnings and dosing information.
Determining whether an OTC medication or herbal supplement is the right choice, as side effects and interactions may increase with age.
Over-coming loss of appetite, dry-mouth, sleeplessness or other dangerous age-related medication side-effects.
Taking medication at the appropriate time throughout the day for your schedule and that medication's known side-effects.
Addressing problems with swallowing and pill size.
Saving money at the pharmacy, including opportunities through patient assistance programs.
Reviewing your total medication history, called a "medication check-up," including all prescription and OTC medications, as well as herbal supplements. This will help determine if you are on the correct medication(s) for your condition(s), if any of your medications are interacting or whether there is a better medication for your schedule or with fewer side effects.
Providing many of the vaccinations you may need and were not aware of.
Various screenings including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and osteoporosis.
Motivational counseling for a healthy lifestyle, including smoking cessation and managing disease.
Pharmacists work as a team with doctors and other health care providers to optimize care, improve medication use and to prevent disease. To achieve the best outcomes for their condition, patients should maintain regular visits with all of their health care providers. APhA encourages consumers to fill all their prescriptions with one pharmacy, get to know their pharmacist on a first name basis, carry an up-date medication and vaccination list and share all medical information with each of their health care providers.