A Helping Hand with Medication Management
Prescription medication therapy can reliably solve health problems, but for many American seniors, medication use isn’t such a simple exercise as seniors use more prescription, over the counter and supplemental medications than any other age group. Older adults aren’t just taking more medications, their regimens commonly include multiple medicines from multiple prescribing physicians, which further escalates their likelihood of experiencing adverse interactions and side effects.
When the Paradise Valley Estates Life Plan Community campus locked down in mid-March and California’s stay at home order was issued to prevent the spread of COVID-19, suddenly a routine trip to the pharmacy became a greater consideration for residents of the 76-acre Life Plan Community. But residents didn’t have to look far for assistance with their medication supply issues and questions. It was right on campus at the community’s Wellness Clinic.
According to Claire Bautista, Wellness Clinic nurse supervisor, nurses at the clinic have been assisting Paradise Valley Estates residents during the shutdown with everything from answering questions to helping them set-up and coordinate pharmacy deliveries. “Some pharmacies do not have a delivery system set up, so nurses offer assistance in setting up smart phone apps or reaching out to family members who can pick up prescription refills and deliver them to the front gate,” says Claire.
The clinic saves residents a risky trip off campus followed by a mandatory two-week self-isolation after returning campus by regularly picking up residents’ prescriptions at several local pharmacies as well as at Kaiser Fairfield and David Grant Medical Center. In addition, some over-the-counter medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen can be purchased right in the Wellness Clinic. According to Claire, some residents put their medications on autopilot by joining the clinic’s Medi-Set program where residents receive weekly, pre-dosed supplies of prescribed medications.
“In the program, a filled box is delivered weekly to the resident in exchange for the previous week’s empty box which is then refilled for the following week,” says Claire. “Clinic nurses monitor supply and call in prescriptions to the resident’s preferred pharmacy when they run low. If there are no refills left, the nurses will contact the resident’s prescribing physician in advance, so they have time to review the medication and provide additional refills.”
With many medications such as blood thinners, and diabetes and heart medications requiring regular monitoring and testing, residents of Paradise Valley Estates have the additional peace of mind that their neighborhood includes access to health professionals seven days a week in the Wellness Clinic. Residents can visit the clinic to consult a licensed nurse about minor illnesses or access routine health services such as medication consultations and flu shots without an appointment.
When you can’t just run out to the pharmacy, count on the Paradise Valley Estates team to bring the pharmacy to you.
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