November 6, 2017
How does your independent community pharmacy help caregivers?
Estimates show that by 2020 there will be 12 million Americans over 65.
With more seniors come more family caregivers. Independent pharmacies are often the first place and sometimes the only place caregivers turn to for help caring for their loved ones.
November is National Family Caregivers Month. Use this celebration as an opportunity to show caregivers appreciation and to highlight what your pharmacy can offer them.
Here’s how you can help caregivers this month at your independent community pharmacy.
Many caregivers never get recognized for the hours they put into caring for those who can’t care for themselves.
One-third of caregivers spend at least 21 hours per week caring for their loved ones. Half of them report high emotional stress.
And, those caregivers significantly increase their risk of developing health problems like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and depression.
Simply acknowledging caregivers for what they do can make a huge difference.
Show your pharmacy’s appreciation of caregivers with these ideas:
Many caregivers are thrust into their role suddenly.
Stressed out and overwhelmed, they don’t know where to start or what to do to. Your trusted pharmacists can put them at ease and help their transition.
Pay special attention to educating caregivers during National Family Caregivers Month.
First, talk to them about their new situation. Listen actively and make them feel heard and understood.
Then, educate caregivers about the medical condition, medication, services and products they need to know about to properly care for their loved one.
And consider advising caregivers on how they can best:
Lastly, point them to more information and connections that can help them long-term, such as the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC).
The most helpful thing you can do for caregivers is to help them manage medications.
Caregivers often have to juggle several different medications requiring daily use, all with varying side effects and possible adverse interactions.
Make an appointment with caregivers to sit down with them and discuss their needs. You could even offer free appointments during National Family Caregivers Month. Or, if you already provide this service free-of-charge, offer more appointment times.
Depending on caregivers’ needs, offer any of these medication management services:
Caregivers need more than prescription medications to care for their loved ones.
Make their life easier. Set up your pharmacy as their one stop shop for all of their caregiving needs. Offering an assortment of home health products in your pharmacy’s front end.
Stock products to make life easier and more manageable at home including:
Now you can show caregivers your appreciation during National Family Caregivers Month.
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