Dementia-friendly pharmacies will ensure pharmacists get specific training and more dementia-aware resources.
Dementia-friendly pharmacies will ensure pharmacists get specific training and more dementia-aware resources. Yuri_Arcurs

Dementia friendly pharmacies soon in Queensland

SPECIALISED training to better manage pharmacy clients with dementia will soon be introduced in Queensland for pharmacists and pharmacy staff.

The Dementia Friendly Pharmacies project is an initiative of Queensland branch of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and will be funded by the Queensland Government. The guild plans to develop the knowledge and skills of staff in at least 30 pharmacies across Queensland.

The Queensland Minister for Seniors Coralee O'Rourke said, "The project demonstrates a clear community need and supports a dementia-friendly approach for pharmacies across Queensland to better respond to patients and carers.

Sunshine Coast pharmacust Kerry Teed regularly during her week works for elderly people including those with dementia. They visit her at her pharmacy, and she visits clients in their home or in an Aged Care facility.

Kerry admits she has no specific training in dealing with people with dementia. "Just from what we read in the various journals that we get and by hands on experience at the coal face," she said.

She is excited that Dementia Friendly Pharmacies will give pharmacists more resources. "I hope that they can roll this out as soon as possible," Kerry said. "We have an ageing population and we are getting exposed to more and more people who have dementia who are still living in the community."

Kerry would like to have a better understanding of dementia and have better means of talking with them and counselling them "They are easily confused so you need to be very patient, very understanding, sympathetic," Kerry said. "They can get very upset so we need to learn techniques that can help them move away from those incidents where they are getting frustrated because they are not understanding what you are telling them or what they should be doing.

"We need to better understand the situations from their perspective. And to help them best manage what they can do themselves."

Kerry also wants to see pharmacists armed with the knowledge of what resources they can direct at-home clients towards who need assistance with ensuring medications are taken.

The guild expects pharmacy clients experience the benefit of this training in the 30 selected pilot program pharmacies early in the new year.

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