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
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:
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
Links to useful web sites and books for consumers