Mobile pharmacist, alarmed med boxes help seniors manage prescriptions
Licensed Pharmacist Brenda Weber fills an alarmed med box that helps client Lois Davis manage her prescriptions. This service is offered through the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic, an affiliate of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging (CCAAA).
CLEARFIELD, Pa. – The team of medical professionals at Susquehanna Wellness Clinic (SWC), an affiliate of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging (CCAAA) has implemented a variety of services to assure members of the community are well cared for. In addition to providing in-home visits for patients, same day appointments, and even in-home vaccinations, the clinic also aids individuals who need help managing their prescription medications. Naturally, this service is also provided in-home for area seniors, even if they’re not a current patient at the clinic.
Beginning in August of 2021, licensed pharmacist Brenda Weber joined the clinic staff. She, as well as LPN Rebecca Shaffer and Practice Manager Megan Patrick share the duties of visiting clients in their homes and organizing their medication to assure it is being taken properly. Many of the 36 consumers receiving this service in Clearfield County have been provided with alarmed lock boxes. These boxes are routinely filled by clinic staff, who also set or adjust timers on the boxes. When it is time for an individual to take their medication, an alarm sounds to remind them. The compartment with the proper medication and dose for that time of day is then unlocked, allowing only those pills to be accessed.
“We can fill and set the boxes for up to two weeks at a time, and set alarms for up to four times per day,” Weber explained. “I think it’s a very valuable service. It gives them comfort knowing a professional who knows what they’re doing has taken care of organizing their prescriptions. And with them only being able to access the proper medication at the proper time, they know they’re taking the doses properly. For some consumers with dementia or other types of impairment, it really helps to keep them on track. I don’t know that there is anyone else doing this on a long-term basis in this area. And it keeps growing. More and more people are requesting this.”
With Weber’s 34 years’ experience as a licensed retail pharmacist, 32 of those spent at Clearfield Pharmacy, she also is able to provide prescription consultations for those she serves, as well as for CCAAA care managers who serve clients, and she assists with care transitions for those coming home from a hospital stay with new prescriptions to organize.
“I’m just so glad she comes and fills this up for me,” said Lois Davis, as Weber filled her alarm box. “That’s really something because I just can’t do it. I’m glad she orders these and takes care of these for me.”
Deb Guiher’s mother, 92-year-old Dolores, appreciates the help this prescription service gives her as a primary care giver. Guiher said, “This is awesome! I can’t find anyone else to come in twice a day to handle my mother’s medication. This goes off at 9:00 and at 6:00, and she just goes and gets her pills from the box. It helps to manage her care while I’m working or otherwise can’t be here. It makes me feel good knowing that, in case she forgot that she took her pills, she can’t get the next round of pills until it clicks over the next time the alarm goes off. So, she can’t overdose. This gives her independence.”
“This is one more way that the clinic and the CCAAA make quality care accessible to people who may find it difficult to travel,” said CCAAA Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Gillespie. “With in-home prescription management available, it’s one less thing that our consumers and their family members or care givers have to worry about.”
However, as Weber reveals, the visits offer much more than just help with organizing medication. She said, “For some of these people it’s the only human interaction they get all day long. This, and maybe with their Meals on Wheels and More driver, if they also get meals. And I love interacting with the people. It just makes my day.”
Guiher said, “It’s also nice knowing that someone is here to make sure she is safe, that they can check on her, and that they get to visit.”
Anyone age18 and over are welcome to take advantage of all other services provided by the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic, including preventative medicine, healthcare screenings, annual wellness visits, laboratory testing, immunizations, telehealth services, chronic pain management, education, same-day appointments, and more.
The SWC has locations at 1924 Daisy Street Extension in Clearfield, in the former PennDOT building, as well as 28944 Frenchville Karthaus Highway in Frenchville. To schedule an appointment at either location, call 814-765-2695. For more information, visit http://www.susqwell.com/