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Nova Scotia Seniors: Pharmacists Changing Roles

Posted Mar 17, 2016

PharacistPillsYes, there is a Pharmacists Awareness Month and this is it – March 2016!

It seems each month is covered by certain topics that need celebrating but we, at Always Home Homecare try to stick to the ones that are apropos to our Halifax Seniors.

The changes to pharmacists’ duties over the last few years have made our lives a little easier and less cluttered with unnecessary trips to the doctor’s office and hours of wait time in the waiting room.

We can go to our local pharmacy for our flu shots and other vaccinations. They can renew our prescriptions and they can even prescribe for minor ailments and other conditions.

These regulations allow pharmacists to really share in patient care. Rather than just dispense medication on a doctor’s order. When the doctor is away, a patient can renew his/her critical prescription without having to wait for their doctor to get home.  Make your appointment to see him/her just the same but if you run out of blood pressure meds in the meanwhile, you can, at least, get a renewal to tide you over.

Seniors in Halifax and elsewhere, with chronic conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, could benefit the most from this help. This group tends to take more medications due to various health issues – once people take more than five to treat their conditions, the risk of adverse side effects rises dramatically

Over 27,000 seniors across Canada were hospitalized because of bad reactions to the medications they were taking to keep them healthy. Who knows all the different medications that you are taking better than your pharmacist? As we get older, we start to see different doctors for different conditions (aside from our family doctors). They each prescribe us a med based on what we tell them – and we can miss one… oops! I know I have.

Our pharmacists, track all of them – little alarms go off on the computer when there is a chance of a possible adverse reaction with another drug. My personal pharmacist is very knowledgeable as well. When I ask him a question, he knows the answer and is very helpful. He also makes sure to let me know when it’s time to ask my doctor.

Nova Scotia homecare companies also need to make sure that their clients’ meds are well managed. Sometimes a call to the pharmacists can straighten out any questions care workers may have when it comes to proper dosage, etc.

This does not mean that you no longer have to see your doctor. You definitely need to maintain your regular visits with him/her. The idea of this program is to leave our doctors free to deal with the more serious of our conditions and to lessen wait times by allowing our pharmacists to take some of the lighter load off.

By working together, doctors and pharmacists are definitely doing their best to help our seniors in Nova Scotia and Canada wide to have easier access to the health care they need. It’s all good!