The prevalence of dementia is increasing rapidly. People with dementia may be prescribed complex medication regimens, which may be challenging for them and any carers involved to safely manage.Objective
To describe and understand the key challenges, in relation to medication issues, experienced by people with dementia and their informal carers dwelling in the community and the potential role of community pharmacists.Design
Qualitative semi‐structured interviews.Participants
People with dementia, informal carers and health and social care professionals (HSCPs).Results
Thirty‐one participants (eleven informal carers, four people with dementia and sixteen HSCPs) were interviewed. Three key themes were identified: the key challenges, improving medication management and the role of pharmacists. The caring role commonly included responsibility for medication management which created both practical problems and an emotional burden. This burden was worsened by any difficulty in obtaining support and if the person with dementia was on a complex regimen. Participants believed that the process could be improved by coordinated and on‐going support from HSCPs, which should focus on the informal carer. Medication reviews, particularly when conducted in the home environment, could be helpful.Conclusion
Medication management for people with dementia living in the community is a complex process, and informal carers have a key role, which they frequently find challenging. Community pharmacists could have an enhanced role in this area, but would need to work within a more multidisciplinary environment outside the pharmacy.
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© 2017 The Authors Health Expectations Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
- community pharmacists
- informal carers
- medication management