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Opinion  

Pharmacists are there to help seniors

Seniors health care

We observed National Seniors Day on Oct. 1, an opportunity to recognize the ever-growing demographic that spans decades.

Despite the promises of the golden years, the reality is many seniors face health challenges as they age. While the challenges range from chronic illness to minor ailments, the consensus is the same, finding the right support can make a world of difference.

Your local pharmacist is there to help you access the care and advice you need, when and where you need it. Whether you’re just entering retirement, or you’re approaching 90 years of age, pharmacists can support every stage of life. Whether you’re looking for in-store support or virtual care options, they can outline ways they can can support you on your health and wellness journey.

Minor ailments: Whether you’ve come down with a urinary tract infection, have a dermatitis flair up, or if you have a bad case of allergic rhinitis, your pharmacist is there to help.

In British Columbia, pharmacists can access and prescribe, if appropriate, for minor ailments, meaning you can save a trip to the doctor’s office and some time by stopping in at your local pharmacy. Pharmacists are a quick and convenient resource for minor ailments, and for uncomplicated conditions. You can be in and out with treatment in hand without waiting in a doctor’s office or emergency department.

Chronic pain: When aches progress to chronic pain, some seniors turn to medication to manage their pain. Pharmacists are an accessible and knowledgeable resource and play an important role in the safe use of pain medication. Pharmacists can also support you with medication reviews to ensure all medications you are taking are working well together. Whether it be over the counter or prescription pain medication, your pharmacist can advise you about the best options to take, to ensure nothing is interfering with you feeling your best.

Diabetes: As a senior living with diabetes, it’s important to remember your pharmacist is a helpful member of your diabetes management team. My pharmacy in Kelowna holds a weekly Diabetes Clinic Day to help people in the community learn how to better manage their diabetes. Together, we will review your medication, conduct an A1C test to measure your average blood sugar level over a three-month period, and teach you about your blood glucose monitor. We can also explore if there are additional technologies that can help make tracking easier. These programs are designed to address your personal needs, and go beyond just dispensing pills in the pharmacy.

Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids are the ultimate pain in the bottom and for many seniors. They are a regular part of life. The good news is pharmacists can help find relief fast by tailoring a treatment plan to your symptoms. From prescriptions ointments to simple dietary changes, pharmacists can find the right approach for you so you can get back to the lifestyle you want.

Pharmacist are there to support you through every stage of life, and make sure you are supported so you can feel your best through your retirement, so if you are experiencing any of these conditions, be sure to stop by your local pharmacy to see how the pharmacist can help.

Nathan Klaassen is a pharmacist and owner of your local Shoppers Drug Mart in Kelowna.



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