Community pharmacies are perfectly placed to help with your health. Here are some ways you might be assisted next time you visit.

Pharmacists can help take the stress out of baby care

Welcoming a baby into the world can be an exciting, wonderful and rewarding time for any parent. It can also be hard work and stressful, especially when encountering common baby problems such as sleeping, feeding and common infant ailments.

Your pharmacist can provide advice and products to help you treat minor baby conditions such as nappy rash, eczema, cradle cap, constipation, pain and fever, rashes and teething.

Your pharmacist will be able to refer your child to a doctor if necessary, which is important as it can sometimes be difficult for parents to determine whether their baby requires medical attention. This is why pharmacies are a great first stop for all those questions new parents are worried about but unsure if a visit to their GP is necessary.

Your pharmacist is well placed to advise you about medicines that are safe and appropriate to give to your baby, as well as information on proper dosing and storage.

Pharmacy staff can advise you on everything from cleansers for your baby’s skin, to different kinds of ‘dummies’ (pacifiers), ways to manage teething, helping your baby sleep and feeding tips.

Have you had your child’s asthma inhaler technique checked recently?

Did you know more than 90 per cent of people with asthma do not use their inhaler the right way?

This means many people are not getting the most out of their medicines as they could be, and their asthma may not be as well controlled.

Your pharmacist can demonstrate other products such as ‘spacers’ and ‘face masks’ which make inhalers more effective and easier to use.

If you take regular medicine to control your asthma, it is important to let your pharmacist know if you are taking other medicines, including non-prescription medicines, as some medicines can aggravate asthma and bring on an asthma attack.

When you come to the pharmacy to buy reliever inhalers, the pharmacist might check if your child is on a preventer and how much they have been using a reliever.

This is so the pharmacist can assess whether you are managing your asthma well, or whether you may need to see your doctor.

Your pharmacist can advise you on the best times to use your medicine, as well as how to avoid potential side effects.

How pharmacy cares for older patients with diabetes

Has your elderly mother or father been recently diagnosed with diabetes? Good blood sugar control and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of serious complications such as heart and kidney disease, eye problems and nerve problems.

Of the 1.1 million people living with diabetes, around 85–90 per cent have type 2 diabetes. The good news is that up to 58 per cent of cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented, or at least delayed, in the high risk (pre-diabetes) population by maintaining a healthy weight.

The main keys to long-term weight loss and reducing your waist measurement are healthy eating and regular physical activity. Talk to your pharmacist for advice on weight loss and pharmacy programs available to help you lose weight.

You can also ask your pharmacist if you are eligible for a MedsCheck: an in-pharmacy medicines review. During a MedsCheck, your pharmacist will have an individual consultation with you and discuss how to get the best out of your medicines, use of your blood sugar monitor and equip you to effectively manage your diabetes.

Your pharmacy may offer a range of additional diabetes services including access to educational speakers, advice on the right diabetes educators and dieticians, or even walking groups!

How pharmacists can help manage your medicines

Do you, or someone you love, have difficulty remembering when to take your medicines?

Your community pharmacy can help by packing your regular medicines into a special dosing device called a Dose Administration Aid (DAA).

Medicine-related hospital admissions remain a significant problem in Australia. It is estimated that 190,000 people are admitted to hospital each year in Australia as a result of medicine-related problems.

DAAs can assist you to clearly see when to take your medicines and quickly check that you have taken your medicines.

Your pharmacy will manage your prescriptions and let you know when you need to see your doctor for new scripts.

The DAA will be made up and ready to collect when you visit your pharmacy – saving you time waiting in line!

Your pharmacist can also provide a print out of your medicines and the times they need to be taken to help with managing your medicines.

Talk to your pharmacist about whether a Dose Administration Aid would make taking your medicines easier.