- About CCGP
- About Board Certification
- CGP Exam
- Recertification Process
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Information for Consumers
Medicines are a key part of the lives of most older adults. They are used to manage chronic diseases, prevent adverse health outcomes, and treat pain and other common symptoms. When used properly, medicines can improve quality of life and help prolong life. Medicines can also cause problems.
Why Older Adults are Most at Risk for Medication-related Problems
- The presence of multiple chronic conditions and taking multiple medicines is common as we age.
- Changes in the body as we age may change the way our bodies break down medicines.
- Taking medicines prescribed by multiple doctors, and filling prescriptions in multiple pharmacies (including mail order pharmacies) is a common practice.
- Symptoms caused by medicine side effects are often not recognized, and are thought to be due to another disease or due to “old age”.
- Certain medicines may increase the risk of falls or may cause memory problems that can be mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
In treating the older adult, it is not enough just for the health professional to know about drugs and diseases. It is also important to know about the special situations involving the aging process and how medicines affect the elderly person.
How a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist Can Help Reduce Risk for Medication-related Problems
The Certified Geriatric Pharmacist has passed a comprehensive examination to demonstrate knowledge and expertise in the use of medicines in older adults. These pharmacists are entitled to put the initials “CGP” after their name. Almost 2,000 pharmacists have achieved the Certified Geriatric Pharmacist credential. Some of these pharmacists provide consultations to older adults in an office or at the patient’s home, on a fee-for-service basis.
Many older adults have complex medication regimens, involving multiple medications from multiple prescribers. In many cases, a caregiver (such as a relative) may be providing assistance with managing the medications. In these situations, a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP) can be a valuable addition to the team. The CGP can:
- Partner with you and other health professionals to help ensure appropriate use of medications
- Help evaluate benefits and risks of the medications
- Answer questions about the medications
Not all CGPs are available to work with patients in the community. However, a listing of Certified Geriatric Pharmacists is available at: Locate a CGP