APhA encourages seniors to connect with their pharmacists

May 17, 2011

The American Pharmacists Association is encouraging seniors to contact their pharmacists during Older Americans Month to gain better knowledge of the medications they are taking and to learn about available wellness opportunities.

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is encouraging seniors to contact their pharmacists during Older Americans Month to gain better knowledge of the medications they are taking and to learn about available wellness opportunities.

Among the topics APhA suggests that seniors discuss with their pharmacists are the following:

  • How to take medications correctly
  • How to read labels correctly and understand warnings and dosing information
  • How to determine the differences between brand versus generic medications, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements, and how they interact with each other
  • How to determine whether an OTC medication or herbal supplement is the right choice
  • How to overcome loss of appetite, dry mouth, sleeplessness, or other dangerous, age-related side effects
  • How to determine the appropriate time to take a specific medication
  • How to address problems with swallowing and pill size
  • How to save money, including opportunities to take advantage of patient assistance

With their older patients, pharmacists should also:

  • Review total medication histories, including all prescriptions, OTC medications, and herbal supplements
  • Discuss availability of vaccinations and screenings
  • Provide motivational counseling for a healthy lifestyle, including smoking cessation and disease management

APhA notes that pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers and a great resource for caregivers and family members who may have questions about the medications they or a person in their care may be taking.