While researching home care options for your senior loved one, you may be wondering about home care pharmacy options. More than half the American population takes some prescription medications, and the percentage rises dramatically with age. Ensuring your loved one has access to, and properly takes, his or her medication is a critical part of staying safe.
This post will examine home care pharmacy options to provide your loved one with prescription medications and ensure he or she is taking them properly.
What is home care pharmacy?
For those individuals who are aging at home, or who simply need a little extra help, there are several options to help ensure they receive their prescription medications. This has been especially important for individuals who are sheltering-in-place due to coronavirus restrictions or concerns.
Here are some of the most common home care pharmacy options:
Many insurance companies nowadays either offer or even require mail-order pharmacy solutions for patients. In these instances, your doctor will either submit prescriptions right to the mail-order company, or they’ll provide you or your loved one with a presciption that can be sent in for processing.
Once it’s submitted, the mail-order company will mail prescriptions (either using USPS or an option like FedEx/UPS), typically every 90 days for any ongoing, long-term medications. As long as there are refills left on the prescription, refills will be sent automatically.
This option is a simple way to ensure that you or your loved one always have medication on hand. Also, having a 90-day supply means less worrying about the timing of refills, and the pricing for mail-order prescriptions is often very competitive compared to small or big-name pharmacies.
For those who prefer knowing their pharmacists personally, many pharmacies are now offering deliveries or shipment of prescriptions, much like the mail-order options noted above. Name-brand pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS will ship your prescriptions after filling them in your local pharmacy. You have the peace of mind in knowing that your local pharmacist is taking care of your prescription, with the comfort in being able to safely stay at home. Please note that due to COVID-19, some pharmacies are waiving the shipping fee, while others are not. Check with your preferred pharmacy to determine any additional costs associated with shipping medications.
Smaller, locally-owned pharmacies also frequently offer deliveries. Much like delivering, say, a pizza, a pharmacy employee will hand-deliver prescriptions to patients who cannot or should not leave the house. Fees may be applicable for deliveries, but there is often a great deal of flexibility in dealing with small, locally-owned businesses — it may be worth talking to the owner or pharmacy manager to see what flexible options are available for you.
Home care assistance
A home health aide can take care of many daily tasks and reminders for seniors who require home care pharmacy assistance, including but not limited to picking up the actual prescriptions. A home health aide can pick up prescriptions for your senior loved one, but can also provide medication reminders to ensure your loved one is taking his or her medicine at the appropriate times.
For special needs, a nurse or other health care professional can also help administer medications. To learn more about the specific options available to you or your loved one, contact your nearest Interim HealthCare location.
Does my loved one need home care pharmacy assistance?
With so many seniors relying on multiple medications to help them stay happy and healthy, home care pharmacy assistance can keep your loved one safe while giving you peace of mind. Home care pharmacy assistance may be right for your loved one if he or she:
- Is forgetful (or suffering from cognitive decline). Accidentally forgetting a dose or taking too much medication can be deadly. If your loved one has been increasingly forgetful (with or without a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia), medication assistance can be a tremendous help.
- Needs help opening jars or bottles. Opening medications can be difficult for ANYONE, but for seniors with arthritis or other joint issues, it can be both painful and seemingly impossible. Even the pill containers designed to make it easy to sort medications can be challenging for seniors! In those cases, a little extra help dispensing of medications can be a lifesaver.
- Could use some extra help in other areas. A home care professional can provide so much more than pharmacy assistance for your loved one. If worries about medication are the tip of the iceberg, looking at home care options can solve many concerns you may have about the health and safety of your loved one.
My loved one needs home care pharmacy assistance — what do I do now?
Here at Interim HealthCare, our compassionate and knowledgeable home care professionals help families like yours across the country. To learn more about our home care options, contact the Interim HealthCare location nearest you.