How your local Pharmacist and Pharmacy can support you - CarerHelp Knowledge

How your local Pharmacist and Pharmacy can support you

The local Pharmacy and Pharmacist is a key part of any community, particularly in a rural area, and will be able to assist you with caring for someone who is seriously ill.

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It is a good idea to let your local pharmacist know about the person’s diagnosis and goals of care so they can be prepared for likely future medicines, care products or equipment that may be required. Pharmacists may also notice changes in the person you are caring for or in your health and wellbeing and may offer additional practical and emotional support.

How your local pharmacist can help you with medicines

  • Explain benefits and side effects of medicines and provide you with written information about medicines.
  • Explain how combinations of different medicines may affect the person you are caring for.
  • Provide information on whether or not to crush a medicine, take it with food, or whether there is other forms of the medicine if swallowing is difficult for the person.
  • Provide a list of current medicines (very useful if you need to call a paramedic or visit the emergency department).
  • Liaise with your GP or other health professional directly about any concerns related to medicines, side effects, or new symptoms.
  • Organise the prescribed medicines into a Dose Administration Aid (such as a webster pack) for ease of use.
  • Support you with prescription management, including apps that might be helpful.
  • Assist with managing PBS Safety Net threshold limits, family linkages and which medicines count towards the threshold.
  • Deliver medicines to your home.
  • Dispose of unused medicines safely.
  • Help to review and possibly reduce medicines (particularly at the end of life).
  • Plan ahead and order medicines the person may need for the last weeks of life.
  • Consider generic brands and inform you of other ways to reduce the cost of medicines, such as which medicines are listed on PBS.
  • Set up an account to pay on a monthly or fortnightly basis.
  • Some pharmacists are accredited to provide a Home Medicines Review. This is when the pharmacist will come to your home and discuss the medicines and their side effects with you. They will also identify if there are any potential interactions between medicines and report back to your GP or health specialist. You can ask your GP, health specialist or local pharmacist about this service.
  • Staged Supply Services - The service is of particular value to patients with a mental illness, drug dependency, or who are unable to manage their medicines safely.

How your Pharmacist and the pharmacy staff can support you

  • Be aware of services that may assist you or referral options in your local area.
  • Be aware of government schemes that may support you.
  • Order equipment such as a commode, shower chair, or incontinence products.
  • Advise you on a range of over-the-counter medicines as well as products that may be useful for the person you are caring for, such
  • as skin care products and oral care products.
  • Provide emotional support to you throughout your caring journey and into bereavement.

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