Support people with dementia to manage medication
People with dementia often struggle with managing their medication â€“ exposing them to side effects, medication errors and an increased risk of non-adherence to drug treatment, research has found.
Community pharmacists could be utilised more to support patients and carers, researchers at Aston University, Hull University and UEA established, in a study funded by Pharmacy Research UK and published in the journal Health Expectations.
Patients are likely to be taking multiple medications and carers may struggle with their responsibilities. Â
Lead researcher Dr Ian Maidment, senior lecturer in clinical pharmacy at Aston University said: â€œOur study found incorrect dosing, forgetting to give the medication and taking medicines which should have been stopped.â€
Professor Chris Fox, consultant old age psychiatrist from UEAâ€™s Norwich Medical School commented: â€œThere can be severe health impact for both the patient and carer â€“ too often in my clinical practice I come across patients and families overburdened and unclear about their medication regimes. This can result in more visits to their GP and hospital and is a cause of avoidable NHS admissions.â€
Dr Andrea Hilton from Hull University added: â€œThere is a substantial role for community pharmacists and their teams to assist carers; many pharmacists have day-to-day contact both with carers and people with dementia. Community pharmacy is in a unique position to support and embrace patient-centred care and this is currently under-utilised."
Community pharmacists should be working more with GP practices, have full access to patientsâ€™ medical records and home visits should be conducted for medication reviews, it was suggested.
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