Offering some tips on visiting the pharmacy for someone else

Last month we observed International Day of Older Persons, which is meant to raise awareness of the issues and challenges of aging in today’s world. COVID-19 has changed us in many ways. One of the most positive changes is that we’ve become more mindful of the vulnerable people in our community, including older people, leading many of us to lend a helping hand to friends and loved ones.

Since the pandemic began, I’ve seen many people in Listowel step up to support older people in our community, which has been truly inspiring. Whether we’re offering to mow a neighbour’s lawn, pick up their groceries, or visit the pharmacy, we have been reminded of the importance of taking care of the people around us – particularly our seniors. I hope this continues to remain a priority.

As a frontline health care worker, I am here to support you and your loved ones during the pandemic and beyond. If you’re visiting the pharmacy on behalf of a neighbour or loved one, there are a few things you should know before you come in.

Give us a call first – To prevent any surprises when you come into the pharmacy, have the prescription holder give us a quick call before you come in to alert us that someone else will be picking up the prescription.

Bring identification – Whether you’re picking up medication for a loved one, friend or neighbour, you are required to show your ID to the pharmacist. You must also ensure that the person you’re picking up the medication for has already provided valid identification for their prescription at the time the prescription is written.

Take notes – Whether a medication is new or a refill, we’ll walk you through how a medication should be taken by the prescription holder. Make sure you take notes and ask questions so you can accurately share this information with the prescription owner as well as any prescription information sheets we provide. If there are any questions after you’ve left, please give us a call so we can answer them.

Ask about medication reminder devices – Keeping track of medications can be a challenge, particularly if someone is taking multiple medications throughout the day. Missing a dose of daily medication, or taking a double dose, can be a health risk. If your neighbour or loved one needs support with remembering to take medication, ask your local pharmacist about getting medication provided in a blister pack, dosette, or other compliance aide.

Medication reviews – If your neighbour or loved one is taking multiple medications, consider bringing them into the pharmacy for a medication review with their local pharmacist. A medication review can help them understand how to best take prescriptions, what each one is for, common side effects and how to manage them. Non-prescription products and the foods we eat can affect how prescriptions work and how well they address the ailment they were prescribed to treat. Appointments typically last 20 to 30 minutes and are funded by their respective provincial governments for those who are eligible.

Your local pharmacist is here to make your in-pharmacy experience, whether for yourself or someone else, as easy as possible. If you have any questions, give us a call, we’re here to help!


Avril Yvette Sun is the pharmacist and owner of your local Shoppers Drug Mart in Listowel.

Avril Yvette Sun