Many of us have heart warming stories about our pharmacists. October just so happens to be American Pharmacists Month and the perfect time to show our appreciation by bringing awareness to such a trusted profession.
Let's face it, one time or another, we have all asked our pharmacists confidential questions about medications or our health. Without question, a pharmacist always delivers and is one of the most important members of our health care team. No matter how busy they may appear, they find a way to help our older Americans by answering their many questions.
We are forever grateful for our pharmacists and we are especially appreciative for their wisdom, trust, kindness and patience. Recently, we participated in a National Council on Aging Falls Prevention discussion and heard the experts talk about how important it is to have a pharmacist on your health care team. The CDC reports that some medications may increase the risk of falls and as medication experts, your pharmacists can help lower your risk. Many seniors who are 65 and over take medications for sleep disorders, anxiety, blood pressure and chronic pain. Some of the side effects of these drugs can cause drowsiness, slower reaction times and blurred vision which can easily increase the risk of falls in our older population. In 2017, falls accounted for more than 3 million emergency room visits, 900,000 hospitalizations and over 30,000 deaths in our elderly community.
For the record, being a pharmacist is a very difficult job! According to Pharmacy School HQ, there are 3 reasons being a pharmacist is too hard for most people to handle:
- Excessive training - to become a PharmD, it requires 6-8 years of school and a massive amount of training
- Long term debt - an average pharmacy graduate takes on approximately $115,000 in debt.
- Endless responsibility - this is why so many senior citizens love their pharmacists. They trust them because they ensure quality, safety and efficacy of every medication dispensed. They take the time to make sure the medicine is suitable for the patients condition. Most importantly, they advise the patient and answer all of their questions.
We see firsthand the vital role pharmacist's play keeping our seniors healthy by being a strategic part of our older Americans health care team. Since October is American Pharmacists Month, we would like to show our appreciation for the invaluable contributions our pharmacists make in their pursuit to extend the lives of our older adults. Many could not live without the extraordinary care our pharmacists provide, especially those in hospital settings, nursing homes, assisted living communities and home care settings.
Future changes are unclear in the pharmacy profession. Not only does a pharmacist spend all day long standing on their feet, working with the public answering questions, administering the right medication and proper dosage, but they have to work through the rapid changes in the health care environment and Medicare funding cuts.
In this fast paced world we live in, sometimes we take the simple things in life for granted. Let's not overlook our the compassionate role our pharmacists play. On your next visit to the pharmacy, please take a moment to let your pharmacist know how much you appreciate them and for going the extra mile to care for our older Americans.