Medication Safety for Older Adults: Communication is the Key

Medications save lives, promote health and wellness, and can even protect us from life-altering infections.  Yet, medications also can contribute to early deaths, life and limb-altering complications, and adversely affect our ability to engage robustly with our environment.  How do we improve the likelihood of experiencing the benefits of medication use without suffering many of the risks involved?  Good, clear communication every step of the way is the key to obtaining the best possible outcomes for ourselves and those we care for.

This webinar will provide viewers an opportunity to understand the complex nature of therapeutic use of medications including OTC, RX, and dietary supplements.  General guidelines for when medications should, and should not be prescribed in the elderly will be presented.  Methods and systems designed to safeguard the use of medications in the elderly across a range of health challenges including those conditions necessitating increased vigilance due to the use of high or moderate risk medications will be discussed.  Additionally, a few non-pharmaceutical interventions as alternative therapies lessening the need for medications will be included.

Sister Barbara Battista, SP, M. Ed, PA-C, RPh

Sr Barbara entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN in 1985 having already been practicing as a hospital pharmacist for a few years. As a pharmacy supervisor at Cook County Hospital’s Outpatient Pharmacy she saw firsthand how the lack of good communication and full understanding of safe medication practices can affect one’s health outcomes. After perpetual profession of vows in 1993 she was drawn into expanding her professional responsibilities. The PA (physician assistant) profession became her path to be of more service to those most in need.  Over the years she has served as a Family Medicine PA in Grantsville, WV; Chicago, IL; and Terre Haute, IN.  Sr Barbara developed the Indiana State University Physician Assistant program and saw it through to its’ original accreditation in 2010.  Currently she minsters as a PA in Occupational Medicine in Terre Haute, IN.  She serves on the Board of Directors for Providence Health Care, a comprehensive skilled care facility at her Motherhouse in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN.  She also holds board positions with Mary’s Pence and with the Women’s March on Washington Indiana chapter

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