| Jun 18, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - June 11, 2009 Verona Drug Mart reaches out to the elderlyBy Julie Druker

Patrick Casey, RN, Verona Drug Mart pharmacist Hany Girgis, and client Elieen Manson at Diabetes Education Day at the Verona Drug Mart

In an effort to provide more hands-on services to the elderly in the Verona and surrounding community living with diabetes, Hany Girgis, pharmacist and owner/ operator of the Verona Drug Mart, recently teamed up with the company Lifescan Canada to do just that.

On May 27 Hany invited Patrick Casey, a registered nurse and diabetes educator from Kingston, who works for Lifescan, to the Verona Drug Mart to counsel elderly members of the community about the disease and how to monitor it in its early and later stages.

Hany’s pharmacy is offering for free two types of Lifescan’s glucose monitoring systems. They are small calculator-sized machines that allow patients to monitor their sugar levels easily at home. The products are free and customers only pay for the test strips that are used in conjunction with the machine.

For Eileen Manson of Verona it was an opportunity to spend time with a nurse and educated diabetes counselor to answer some of her concerns. Eileen has been diagnosed as pre-diabetic; her sugar levels are higher than normal but not at all off the charts. Her doctor wants her to check her glucose levels regularly before she goes in for an in-depth test and she has been monitoring her sugar levels for the last year.

Patrick explained, “Typically Type 2 Diabetes occurs later in life, although it is appearing in younger people due to the obesity pandemic, but it generally strikes adults over 40 years of age and the symptoms occur quite insidiously, and are usually slow to progress.”

For people diagnosed with the disease, self-monitoring at home is important; poorly controlled diabetes can come with serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease, risks to the eyes, kidneys and damage to peripheral arteries and nerves and risk of infection due to slow wound healing.

Patrick was careful to point out that only people with diabetes who have been directed by their doctor should be screening their blood sugar levels at home with these devices. He explained, “Generally speaking these tools are intended to be used by people who have been diagnosed with diabetes. These tools are not recommended for people who do not have the disease as a casual way to monitor their blood sugar levels.”

Patrick also added that diet and exercise are the best preventative tools people can use to avoid the onset of diabetes.

The clinic was very worthwhile for Eileen who said, “Patrick helped to show me techniques that I can use to get enough blood to complete a test. I was having trouble getting enough blood and it was very discouraging. He’s really helped me.”

Eileen explained that she hadn’t been to a clinic before and also learned from Patrick a lot about how to manage her diet.

Hany was grateful for the opportunity to offer this service to members of the community. He explained, “It’s a very good chance for customers to have an in-depth one-on-one session with a professional so they can address their personal concerns and have their questions answered in detail.”

He added, “It’s important to offer these services in small communities to clients where access to doctors and clinics are not as readily available as in larger centres. I also am seeing that customers are extremely grateful for this type of one-on-one service.”

He’s intending to offer similar types of educational clinic days on hypertension and flu shots and foot care for diabetics to his customers in the near future.

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