When we were growing up, we did not expect we would be going into our middle age years with the responsibility of caring for our parents.
Ten years ago we put a large addition on our house which included a bedroom-bathroom suite in the basement. Within 4 years of the completion of this addition, and for 3 solid years thereafter, our parents took turns living in our basement suite as they were recovering and/or dealing with their health issues. We had officially become full-fledged members of the sandwich generation.
Our lives were already hectic and stressed between work and family; however, we now had the additional responsibility of taking care of our parents.
During one of my in-laws’ period of living with us, my father-in-law began having problems getting up from a seated position and walking. We had taken him to the emergency room though they sent him home unable to determine a cause. He continued to worsen so we made the decision to take him back to the emergency room. This time they admitted him.
My father-in-law never came home from the hospital. He had had a small stroke and was also diagnosed with Parkinson-like Syndrome. The stroke ended up being the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and his health declined steadily over the next 6 weeks leading to his unexpected death.
After he passed, we cleaned out his belongings. In the process, we discovered he had not been taking his stroke prevention medication as prescribed. He had been independently taking his medications. Previous to this discovery we had not had any indication he was not taking his medications properly.
It is this experience and the years of experience helping my mother cope with her condition, that has lead me to create Our Personal Pharmacist, a community based, pharmacist led, medication management program.
My mother heroically tried to maintain her independence and lead an active life despite the need to be dialyzed three times a week. Residing in South Carolina, she came to Pittsburgh for medical and emotional support three times during her illness. Each time, we would nurse her back to very good health.
Once healthy, she would return to her life and friends in South Carolina. Within a very short period of returning, her health would decline and she would come back to our house. And here was the difference: As long as I managed her medications and physician visits, she remained healthy. As soon as she took back control, her health declined. The connection was undeniable.
When she was with me, I functioned as her personal pharmacist managing her medications and physician visits/communications. This proved vital to ensuring her 5 additional years of life that included time spent with family and friends, a trip to Italy and holiday memories.
If you would like this peace of mind for your parents, click here for a free consult to see if Our Personal Pharmacist is right for your mom or dad.