Communicating and Medication

When speaking with health care professionals about polypharmacy or managing medications, it is important to be prepared so that they can provide the best support, recommendations, or other forms of assistance. For questions about medications, it is ideal to speak with the professional who has prescribed the medication (e.g. a doctor or a nurse practitioner). A pharmacist is also an excellent resource if you have questions about medications. You can often speak to a pharmacist in person or over the phone without an appointment.

The following are some helpful tips on how to communicate with health care professionals.

 Activity 5.3: Try a Tool

These five questions can be asked during each visit to ensure medications are up-to-date and reviewed regularly.
 5 Questions to Ask About Your Medications for a copy of these questions. For more information about these and other questions, visit:  

Alternatives to Medications

Alternative medicine is a term that defines the use of non-mainstream approaches instead of traditional Western medicine. Complementary medicine is a term that defines the use of non-mainstream approaches along with traditional Western medicine. A non-mainstream approach is a term to describe many different approaches to health, healing and symptom management. These approaches can take many forms. Some examples include: yoga, herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals, deep breathing, meditation, massage, acupuncture, art and music therapy, and many more.

Using alternative and complementary medicine to improve health and wellness is very common. To find out more information about alternatives to taking medication, ask a health care professional. They will know how they can help you and how to alter your approach safely.

Finding Additional Supports

  • Ask a health care professional: Ask a qualified health care professional who can lead you in the right direction. They will be able to tell you and the person you care for about the services in your community and if they think a referral is needed.
  • Look online:You can search for online support by browsing the Healthline, health services for Ontario website. To access the Healthline website: is supported by Health Canada. For more information on managing multiple medications, medication safety and other strategies for caregivers, visit:

 Activity 5.4: Pause and Reflect

These five questions can be asked during each visit to ensure Write down one or two strategies from this module that could be useful for you in your caregiving. Write these strategies down in your Reflection Journal.

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