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Hey guys, this is the third in a series of three posts that I’ve partnered with CVS Pharmacy on to help bring more awareness to their new ScriptPath prescription management program as well as their other pharmacy services.
In the first post I shared five “hacks” for streamlining your busy life. In the second post I shared nine smartphone apps that I use all the time. And for this third and final post, I wanted to share some ideas that I hope you’ll find useful and applicable for helping the older adults in your life.
When I was first approached with this opportunity, I began thinking about how many of us are impacted through caretaking roles. The shifts in caretaking that take place as we age are something that have been at the forefront of my mind since entering my 30s. In the last few years my eyes have become open to how much our roles change at this age as parents and grandparents age and we many of us take on the responsibility of parenting ourselves.
As most of you know, I have a close relationship with my parents and my grandmother. My grandmother made the decision about two and a half years ago to sell the home she’d lived in for over 40 years in Georgia and move into a condo in Florida where she could be closer to my parents and have a little more day-to-day companionship and help. It’s been an incredible blessing for our family that we’ve been able to make this work and has allowed my grandmother to maintain independence while being able to lean on family for support as needed.
I wanted to share some serious and not-so-serious ways that we can provide support to the older adults in our lives as we move into caretaking roles.
1. SET THEM UP ON THE COMPUTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA
My grandmother is an expert online shopper (haha) and adores keeping up with the family through Facebook. She also likes to stream shows online through her computer and play card games and is a daily reader of Peanut Butter Runner!
I think we can ALL agree that no matter your age, technology can be overwhelming sometimes so it’s great to help your older adult get set up on the computer and social media and to check in with them regularly on if they are having any issues that need troubleshooting/resolving.
2. DELIVERY AND ONLINE ORDERING!
Speaking of online shopping…I think it’s wonderful to set older adults up with as many delivery options as possible. My grandmother chooses not to drive these days so the more things she can have brought to her, the better. Delivery also helps her not to feel so reliant on others to bring her what she needs.
She can find most everything she needs online from groceries to household items. Did you know that CVS Pharmacy offers 1-hour delivery through InstaCart as well as free 1-2 day shipping on orders over $49? This makes it easy to receive all the health, household and beauty items you need right to your doorstep.
3. BRING IN HELP
Although my grandmother’s condo is relatively small and easy to keep tidy and clean with just her living there, my parents helped her find a woman who comes in and helps her with things like general cleaning and changing the bedding when needed. She likes the woman a lot and feels very comfortable asking for her assistance without feeling like she’s “putting her out” or “being a burden”…which I think can sometimes lead to reservations in asking family to help with things.
Help can be anything from someone to run errands to someone to a medical aide to a housekeeper to a driver and more!
4. HELP THEM MANAGE THEIR MEDICATIONS
Managing prescription medications can be a big challenge, especially when taking multiple medications, at different times throughout the day, and prescribed by different doctors. Did you know that medication adherence is actually a big issue in our country? The CDC estimates that non-adherence causes 30 to 50 percent of chronic disease treatment failures and 125,000 deaths per year in this country (source).
The reasons behind this are multi-faceted and range from not understanding the directions, forgetfulness, too many medications with different regimens, unpleasant side effects, feeling like the medicine isn’t working, issues with health insurance and more.
CVS Pharmacy has been a huge help for our family in managing all of this. They offer SO MANY services to make it easier for patients to get their medicine, understand prescription information and improve their medication adherence.
Their new ScriptPath system includes Prescription Schedule, which prominently features the patient’s prescription information and includes specifics on when and how much medicine to take, as well as clear refill instructions and personalized notes.
Prescription Schedule uses a sophisticated system that automatically reviews all of a patient’s CVS Pharmacy medications and prescribers’ instructions, and then provides a schedule of the most effective times to take medications by separating it into four dosing times (morning, midday, evening and bedtime). It’s now available in all of CVS Pharmacy’s over 9,700 locations. (And don’t forget that all Target pharmacies are now CVS Pharmacy!)
They also provide programs such as…
- Maintenance Choice: Allows plan members to opt to fill 90-day supplies of medications for chronic conditions
- Pharmacy Advisor: Offers face-to-face or over the phone pharmacist counsel to help members achieve better health
- ScriptSync: Enables patients and caregivers with multiple maintenance medications to pick up all of their eligible prescriptions at the same time
And app features such as…
- Drug Interaction Checker: Checks whether a prescription will have any potentially adverse reactions with other medications
- Pill Identifier: Helps users identify what a pill is by entering in descriptive information such as shape, color and imprint
- Refill Prescriptions: Users can import prescriptions for refill from their secure medication history, or use the Scan to Refill feature to simply scan a prescription’s barcode and order it in one easy step
- MedRemind: Helps customers stay on track with their medication schedules by enabling them to customize reminders to take their prescriptions and notifications to caregivers when a dose is missed
5. KEEP THEM CONNECTED
I think more than anything, the older adults in our lives just want to feel connected and close to the people that they love. If you live close by, prioritize regular visits to spend time together. If you’re far away, call frequently and make travel plans when you can to see them in person.
My grandmother goes to my parents’ condo several nights per week for dinner and they stop in daily to visit her. My aunt, cousins and I regularly call her to check in and schedule visits whenever we can!
6. DELIGHT AND SURPRISE
Get to know what makes the older adults in your life happy and delight and surprise them regularly! For example, my grandmother loves it when I bring her goodies from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods so I always prioritize making that happen when I visit. I also know she loves games and puzzles and things to keep her mind busy so I might bring things like that as well.
So, that wraps it up! I hope that you guys found this post to be helpful, especially if you have an older adult in your life that could use a little extra assistance. Remember, we all just want to be loved, seen and heard so quality time, checking in and showing you care are the most important ways that we can touch other’s lives as caretakers, family members and friends.
I would LOVE to hear about your experience with caretaking roles and ways that you help the older adults in your life.
What’s your favorite activity to share with the older adults in your life?