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Have a question about your health?

Ask the Pharmacist

“Do I need to finish my medication if I already feel better?”

“How soon can I start exercising after having surgery?”

“Do I really need to take that pill on an empty stomach?”

Your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist is a healthcare professional with a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of health topics. If you have a question about your health or medication, chances are, your Express Scripts Canada pharmacist knows the answer.

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“My mother is elderly and lives on her own. How can I help her lead an active healthy life?”

Answer from Express Scripts Canada Pharmacist, Suzanne Easo:

As the population grows older, many adults find themselves becoming primary caregivers for their aging parents. This can be an overwhelming experience especially when that parent lives alone or is far away. Being an informed advocate and compassionate support person will make coping with this reality easier for everyone involved.

Some coping tips are:

  • Familiarize yourself with organizations and professionals who can help, as well as offer health and wellness seminars, instructional workshops, sports leagues and leisure programs. This will help your mother stay active, and give her the companionship she will need to help avoid loneliness and depression.
  • Ask an occupational therapist to offer tips for making your mom’s home safer and easier to navigate, and recommend adaptive equipment such as grab bars, ramps and stair lifts. An occupational therapist can help promote self-reliance among elderly clients, helping them learn, or relearn, how to perform the general activities of daily living, including homemaking, cooking, eating, dressing and grooming that will allow them to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
  • Use assistive technologies, such as GPS watches that can alert you when your mom's behaviour changes. Another helpful tool is home automation. You can use motion sensors, automated prompts and pre-recorded audio messages that can remind your mom to turn off the oven, or say, lock the front door, if she has forgotten to do so.
  • Use an app to remind her to take her medication. Use these, along with a daily pill box, to help your mother take medications as prescribed, an important part of keeping her healthy and safe.
  • Finally, ask a reliable neighbour to check in on mom from time to time, to make sure she’s okay, but also to let her know that someone cares.


Helping prepare your mother for problems that can arise as she ages will provide the basis for a healthy, active life on her own, but remember, minimizing stress, for both you and your mother, is an essential part of the process.


Until next time, I’m Suzanne Easo, and this has been Ask the Pharmacist. I wish you good health.

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Disclaimer: The information provided is not a substitute for medical or professional advice, judgment, diagnosis or treatment or a recommendation or endorsement for any health care provider, product, procedure, service or other information that may be mentioned. Reliance on any information is solely at the user’s own risk. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. In no event will Express Scripts Canada be liable for any loss or damages of any kind resulting from user’s access to or use of the information on this web site or use of any information contained in linked web sites.
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