From the President: Caring for older Australians with compassion and expertise

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS

At PSA we are proud to advocate for the critical role that pharmacists play in palliative care and aged care for medication supply and management.

Providing the best possible care for patients in these settings requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach, and pharmacists are an essential part of that.

This month’s Palliative Care Week (21–27 May) focuses on Matters of Life and Death, a timely reminder of the importance of quality palliative care for all Australians. End of life care is more often than not an incredibly difficult time for the family and friends of our patients, making our roles in educating and supporting them with medication use even more important.

At this month’s Consultant Pharmacist Conference (CPC23), PSA launched our dedicated education program focused on he important role of pharmacists in aged care. It was a great opportunity to catch up with many of you to discuss the future of pharmacists specialising in geriatric care regardless of practice settings.

Whether it is in-pharmacy MedsChecks, Home Medicines Reviews or Residential Medication Management Reviews, the work that our pharmacists do have all made positive impact on the health of older Australians. Trials led by the University of Canberra have found that on-site pharmacists in residential aged care facilities reduced the risk of medication harm, significantly improving patient safety and reducing pressure on aged care nurses and staff.

This impact cannot be understated. As healthcare professionals, we have an important role to play to provide better, safer care for our oldest Australians.

As we look to the future of healthcare in Australia, pharmacists must play an important role in palliative care and aged care. By working together with healthcare teams, patients, families, and caregivers, we can ensure that all Australians receive the best possible care and support in these important stages of life.