We are living longer all the time and even though we might be young at heart, our minds and bodies often need a little help keeping up.
It’s increasingly important we stay as physically and mentally agile as we can.
And now pharmacies are becoming people’s first port of call for advice to help them live a full and active life as they get older.
Generally, when older patients come into the pharmacy it’s to see us about their medication, or related issues, and there are many ways the experts can help.
Below we’ve asked LloydsPharmacy pharmacist Anshu Bhimbat to reveal the five most common issues she addresses when it comes to elderly patients – and explain the changes they can suggest to help make life a little easier.
Confusion about medication
Older patients tend to get a lot more medication, sometimes taking up to 20 tablets a day – it’s part of the ageing process because they might have chronic conditions, illnesses like diabetes, and other minor ailments, aches and pains.
It’s natural that they can become confused, so we offer help in making sure they know when to take it and take it correctly; and help them to understand why they’re taking it.
Unaware of side-effects
People can put up with a condition not realising it’s a side-effect of their medication or they may still be taking something they no longer need so we can refer them back to their doctor.
We have products that can help too, whether it’s pill boxes to help organise daily medication or walking aids; or a Kettle Tipper which pours without being picked up to help people with arthritis who may not be able to bend their fingers.
Experiencing memory loss
Memory loss is common in older age, not just those with dementia, so there is a range of items from things like day clocks or activities to help keep the brain active, crafts and puzzle packs which you wouldn’t normally associate with a pharmacy.
Suffering aches and pains
One of the most common ailments as we get older is general aches and pains, be it back ache, joint ache and knee pain.
All our colleagues can give advice about pain medication as well as supplements to help.
We can make sure people are getting enough vitamins, and recommend supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin which can support the joints.
It could be that simple adjustments to your current medication, or lifestyle, could help you manage your pain more effectively.
Wanting a general check-up
LloydsPharmacy offers other free services including Heart Check Services, Type 2 Diabetes
Screening and Asthma and COPD Support Services.
And, if you’re aged 40-74, you can have a free NHS Health Check at some its pharmacies to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia.
Your local pharmacy can also offer advice on healthy eating and give guidance on having a healthier lifestyle.