Things to know before visiting the pharmacy for someone else

Picking up prescriptions

The pandemic has changed us.

Canadians have become increasingly aware of the vulnerable people in their community, including older people, leading many of us to check in with friends and loved ones.

Since the pandemic began, I’ve seen many people in Kelowna step up to lend a hand to older people in our community, which has been truly inspiring.

Whether we’re offering to mow a neighbour’s lawn, pick up their groceries or visit the pharmacy, we have been reminded of the importance of taking care of the people around us – particularly our seniors. I hope this continues to remain a priority.

This month, we observed International Day of Older Persons, which is meant to raise awareness of the issues and challenges of aging in today's world.

If you’re planning a visit to your local pharmacy on behalf of a neighbour or loved one and are unsure of what you need, I have included a few tips to ensure you are prepared.

As a frontline health care worker, I am here to support you and your loved ones during the pandemic and beyond. Here is my list of things to keep in mind when visiting a pharmacy on behalf of someone else, whether old or young.

• Call ahead—If you’re picking up a prescription for someone else, remind the prescription holder to call the pharmacy before you come in to alert us that someone else will be picking up the prescription. This will ensure there are no surprises when you arrive at the pharmacy counter.

• Take notes—Whether a medication is new or a refill, we’ll walk you through how a medication should be taken. Make sure you take notes and ask any questions you have, so you can accurately share this important information with the prescription owner as well as any prescription information sheets we provide. If there are any questions after you’ve left, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can answer any questions.

• Ask about medication reminder devices—Keeping track of medications can be a challenge. Missing a dose of daily medication, or taking a double dose, can be a health risk. If your neighbour or loved one needs support with remembering to take medication, ask your local pharmacist about getting medication provided in a blister pack, dosette, or other compliance aide.

• Medication reviews—If your neighbour or loved one is taking multiple medications, consider bringing them into the pharmacy for a medication review with their local pharmacist. A medication review?can help them understand how to best take prescriptions, what each one is for, common side effects and how to manage them.

Non-prescription products and the foods we eat can affect how prescriptions work and how well they address the ailment they were prescribed to treat.

Appointments typically last 20 to 30 minutes and are covered by provincial health programs. Medication reviews are funded by their respective provincial governments for those who are eligible.

Your local pharmacist is here to make your in-pharmacy experience, whether for yourself or someone else, as easy as possible. If you have any questions, give us a call, we’re here to help

Nathan Klaassen is the pharmacist and owner at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Kelowna. Visit ShoppersDrugMart.ca to find your nearest store.

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