When not taken properly, not only will medicine be ineffective, it can actually harm. Unfortunately, sometimes those that need medicine the most are our older family members who might have trouble being in charge of their own medications due to confusion or memory issues.
Family Can Help
Other family members can often help those in their family that are having a bit of a problem being fully in charge of their own medicine. That effort is made much easier by dealing with a pharmacy that understands these issues, especially when the patient and other family member are separated by distance.
Finding a Pharmacy That Will Help
When choosing a pharmacy to help you coordinate the medication for someone in your family that is unable to take care of their own medication, here are some questions you should ask:
Does the pharmacy offer delivery service and mailing?
Being sure that the pharmacy can deliver to your loved one's house (or room if in an independent living facility) is an important choice in choosing a pharmacy. This is especially important if the caregiver is not living in the same city. Mailing of prescriptions, even for a local pharmacy, is also an important service to have available as some patients are not able to answer the door during the day due to mobility problems or hearing impairment, or may not want the interruption of a delivery person at their doorstep.
Does the pharmacy have charge accounts?
These days, patients often don't need a charge account due to financial reasons, instead, it is the convenience of a charge account that is the main draw. Charge accounts make it very convenient to have the prescription and the payment as separate transactions. Charge accounts should be able to be setup so that the patient doesn't have to handle money each time, but instead, another family member can pay the bill just once a month. This is very convenient and reduces confusion and stress for the patient. The pharmacy having the ability to securely store credit card information is also a helpful service.
How much time is the pharmacy able to spend time on the phone with you?
Pharmacies are notorious for being busy places. Patients can easily pick up on this "rushed" feeling when on the phone with the pharmacy. It is important that when you choose a pharmacy, you know up front whether a pharmacy has enough staff on hand at all times in order to spend as much time on the phone as you or your loved one needs.
Does the pharmacy specialize in problem-solving?
Many pharmacies are part of a chain and although they employ many fine people, the employees can only do so much when faced with a situation that is outside the rules of chain. You do want a pharmacy with structure, but not so much structure that the team members are unable to think on their feet and adjust to the needs of the patient and caregivers. Problem solving may also include identifying packaging solutions and reminder tools to help patients improve their medication use. Prescription synchronization programs and special packaging solutions are examples of ways a pharmacy serves as a problem solver.
If you have any doubts or concerns, never hesitate to speak with us. Our patients are our number one concern.
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The Gatti Team
Information, tips and more from the Gatti Pharmacists and staff.