October is American Pharmacist Month

Senior Care in Okemos MI

Senior Care in Okemos MIThe American Pharmacist’s Association motto is “Improving medication use. Advancing patient care.” With October being American Pharmacist’s Month, now is a great time to get to know an elderly parent’s pharmacist and discover all that he offers in the way of providing for a loved one’s health and safety.

Pharmacists Vs Doctors

Many patients accept a doctor’s prescription without thought. If they do have concerns, they will address those to the doctor or nurse practitioner and never consider asking advice from their pharmacist. A pharmacist goes to school for six years with the majority of their education revolving around drugs. A doctor goes to school for eight years and must cover a wealth of information, including drugs. And sometimes, in a busy medical practice, it is difficult for a doctor to take the time to discuss all the ramifications of a particular medicine. A pharmacist is at the public’s disposal without an appointment and at no additional charge.

Safety Issues: Risks and Rewards

Pharmacists are the experts when it comes to the side effects of medications and the risks versus rewards of taking them. They are also the “go to” when it comes to deciding whether a generic drug will hold the same benefits as a brand-name drug. They can recommend certain over-the-counter medications for specific symptoms and discuss when O-T-C drugs should not be taken. For instance, some decongestants can raise blood pressure and are therefore not suggested if someone has or is taking high blood pressure medication.

Compatible Medications

Not only can they offer information on how drugs interact with each other, but also how certain foods interact with specific medications. If a loved one has diabetes, consider discussing with their pharmacist what diet they would recommend and if any of their medications could affect their blood sugar levels. For those on blood thinners, a pharmacist might share that it is best to eat small amounts of foods rich in vitamin K, such as kale, spinach and other dark leafy greens. Supplements should also be discussed.

Carrying for your Elderly Parent

Getting to know an elderly parent’s pharmacist is an important step in ensuring they receive the best care possible. Once a relationship is established, consider requesting a yearly review of prescriptions to make sure they are on the right track. It is estimated that around 4.5 million Americans experience adverse reactions to prescription drugs every year—and the symptoms are enough to send them to the emergency room or to their doctor’s office. (1) If a home care provider is helping a loved one with the daily activities of life, be sure to include them in the discussion. They are more than happy to remind those they care for when it’s time to take their medications and what food they should or should not be combining.

Prescription Drug Side Effects; https://www.drugwatch.com/side-effects/

If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Okemos, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.