News Release Archive

The Nova Scotia Senior Citizens' Secretariat has embarked on a
pilot project called "Towards the Prudent Use of Medications"
which will provide education on medication to seniors in
Wolfville, Kentville, Berwick and surrounding rural areas.

Seniors, health professionals and caregivers will be involved in
the development and delivery of the medication education program.

Community Services Minister Jim Smith, who is also chair of the
secretariat, said, "The project will provide seniors with the
means of communicating more effectively with health
professionals, improve their knowledge about how to effectively
manage their medications and ultimately give them the opportunity
to become more responsible for their own health."

The pilot project will benefit those seniors who are 65 years and
over, living on their own in the community and who are at risk of
mismanaging their medications (prescription and non-prescription)
because of difficulties accessing medication information.

Seniors may have difficulty accessing medication information if
they are homebound or otherwise isolated and/or they suffer
sensory loss (sight, hearing, speech) and/or, they lack literacy
or comprehension skills.

"We are very pleased to be a part of the secretariat's pilot
project," said Health Minister Ron Stewart. "Educating seniors on
medication use will help to ensure the sustainability of
Pharmacare now and into the future."

The first phase of this project, determined that a vigorous
outreach strategy was needed to educate seniors at risk of
mismanaging their medications.

John Murphy, MP for Annapolis Valley-Hants, representing federal
Health Minister David Dingwall, said "this project is an example
of how a program such as,  New Horizons: Partners in Aging',
responds to the needs of seniors. It is especially important that
we direct our concerns to seniors in situations of risk or
prevent situations which put these individuals at risk."

Health Canada's New Horizons: Partners in Aging has funded the
second phase of the project in the amount of $53, 512.

The second phase of the project will be delivered in the
Kentville, Berwick and Wolfville areas by local seniors and
in-home service providers who will be trained as peer educators.
The information will be delivered to the target group by the peer
educators through home visits.

Seniors who were consulted with during the first phase of the
project said that they wanted to be involved in the education
process. Peer education will give seniors this opportunity to
reach out to other seniors in their community.

A series of community medication review clinics will also be
carried out providing all seniors in the project area the
opportunity to have their prescription and non-prescription
medications reviewed by a local physician or pharmacist.

Pharmacists, physicians, public health nurses, home care
personnel, seniors' clubs and the community at large will be
encouraged to become involved in promoting the project and will
encourage seniors, in need of medication information, to

The second phase of the project is being sponsored by the
Province of Nova Scotia, Health Canada's New Horizons: Partners
in Aging program, and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
Association of Canada.

The project's advisory committee is the Nova Scotia Coalition for
Seniors' Drug Education. The coalition is comprised of: Senior
Citizens' Secretariat, Medical Society of Nova Scotia, Pharmacy
Association of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society,
Department of Health, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of
Canada and Canadian Drug Manufacturers Association.

Further information on the Towards the Prudent Use of Medications
can be obtained from the Senior Citizens' Secretariat, at
902-424-4779 or 1-800-670-0065 (toll-free).


NOTE TO EDITORS: Backgrounder available by calling 424-4492
or 1-800-670-4357.

Contact: Valerie White  902-424-4649

trp                     Mar. 20, 1996 - 11:58 a.m.