Health: Tips on visiting pharmacy for someone else

Last 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. Since the pandemic began, I’ve seen many people in our community step up to support older adults 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. I hope this continues to remain a priority.

If you’re visiting the pharmacy on behalf of a neighbour or loved one, there are a few things you should know before you come in. As a frontline health care worker, I am here to support you and your loved ones during the pandemic and beyond. I’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind when visiting a pharmacy on behalf of someone else, old or young.

• Call ahead – To ensure there are no surprises when you arrive, please ask the prescription holder to call the pharmacy before you come in to alert us that someone else will be picking up the prescription.

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

• 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. 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 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!

Todd Prochnau is a Sylvan Lake pharmacist.