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Senior Care Pharmacists
Pharmacists are health care professionals responsible for the dispensation of prescription and nonprescription medications. (See "Pharmacists.") They may advise physicians, nurses, or other health care professionals on the use of medications, and they also give patients instructions for taking and storing medicines. Senior care pharmacists have expert knowledge regarding the medical conditions of the elderly and the treatments for these conditions. Many factors must be considered when treating the elderly, making this a complicated process. One factor to keep in mind is that older bodies react differently to medications than younger bodies. In addition, many older people have more than one health problem and take more than one medication. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, people of ages 65 to 69 take an average of about 14 prescriptions a year, and as people get older that number only increases. Because of factors such as these, senior care pharmacists work closely with other members of health-care professionals in caring for a patient. Senior care pharmacists' responsibilities include keeping records on their patients' drug regimens, advising health professionals on what medicines to use and giving training on how to use them, and monitoring patients' progress and adjusting medicines as needed.