Q: Where to look for expert medication management in the elderly?

A: Find a Consultant Pharmacist through ASCP

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Alexandria, VA. – Concerned that Dad is taking too many medications? Grandma experiencing adverse side effects from her prescription regime? Where does a family look for expert medication management in the elderly? When it comes to ensuring appropriate medication use in the elderly, the best-kept secret is a Consultant Pharmacist. While medications are probably the single most important factor in improving the quality of life for older Americans, the nation’s seniors are especially at risk for medication-related problems due to physiological changes of aging, higher incidence of multiple chronic diseases and conditions, and greater consumption of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Consultant Pharmacists possess specific knowledge and skills in geriatric pharmacotherapy and are experts in the unique medication-related needs of seniors and long-term care residents.  They help identify and reduce medication-related problems in seniors.  Partnering with other health care providers, Consultant Pharmacists are typically found working in long-term care settings for the elderly.

“The economic impact of medication-related problems in persons over the age of 65 now rivals that of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. ” says ASCP President, Penny Shelton, PharmD, CGP, FASCP.

Medication-related problems are estimated to be one of the top five causes of death in that age group, and a major cause of confusion, depression, falls, disability, and loss of independence.

Adds Shelton, “For more than a generation, consultant pharmacists have dedicated themselves to protecting the health of our most vulnerable, often forgotten citizens -- residents of nursing facilities.”

ASCP is an association representing more than 6,000 members who manage drug therapy and improve the quality of life of geriatric patients and other individuals residing in a variety of environments, including nursing facilities, sub acute care and assisted living facilities, psychiatric hospitals, hospice programs, and home and community-based care.

Learn more about ASCP’s efforts to educate the industry and advance awareness of consultant pharmacists in the public at www.ascp.com.

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