In March 2012, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy's student chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists visited the Star Harbor Senior Center in West Philadelphia for an afternoon of medication-related events. Student pharmacists surveyed the members last spring to determine their pharmacy needs.
At left: Photo 1 - Students play pharmacy bingo with the senior center members.
Photo 2 - USciences students Kristen Lechner PharmD'12, Kim Brown PharmD'13, Leslie Abes PharmD'12 outside Star Harbor.
Per Star Harbor members’ request, ASCP students were able to provide each pharmacy fair attendee with a collapsible cup to be used for hydration when taking medications away from home. The cups, with the slogan, “Medicine only works IF you take it,” were obtained through a Walgreen’s Diversity grant and immediately met the approval of the seniors.
While at the senior center, intergenerational activities included a pharmacy-themed Bingo, craft time resulting in a useful and decorative medication adherence reminder, discussions on the pharmacist’s role in senior health, and completion of medication cards.
“The members really enjoyed the students, and they all felt that they learned a lot. They are hoping that the students will be able to come again,” said Ernestine Patterson, Star Harbor senior center director.
According to ASCP advisor, Laura Finn, the roots of this relationship began last spring when the newly formed student ASCP reached out to Star Harbor to assess their needs and begin plans for an ongoing relationship. The energetic student participants and planners included both undergraduates as well as each professional pharmacy year including several APPE students.
"It was amazing to see how much the Star Harbor members enjoyed our company," said Kim Brown PharmD'13, president of Student ASCP. "ASCP hopes to make an impact in the lives of these fantastic seniors".
Star Harbor member summed up their appreciation for the students, with this comment by senior member Dottie: "you better tell me where you will work as a pharmacist when you are done with school because I need to only go there!"
More intergenerational activities are being planned for the future in an effort to improve medication use in the older adult population.