OBJECTIVES: As medication experts, pharmacists can play a significant role in helping people living with dementia and their informal carers make the best use of medications. However, little is known about this population's needs and expectations of their pharmacists. The objective of this study was to report informal carers' perceptions about the role of their pharmacists.
METHODS: In a previous study, informal carers were interviewed to explore factors influencing medication adherence in older people living with dementia. The interview transcripts from the previous study were analysed thematically using an inductive approach to explore carers' perceptions about the role of community pharmacists in helping carers and people living with dementia use medications as prescribed.
KEY FINDINGS: The interviews of 20 informal carers were analysed. Carers were primarily females (85%), married (60%), completed university (60%) and unemployed (70%). The majority of care recipients had comorbidities (75%), and the number of medications ranged from 1 to 20. Three significant roles emerged: (1) provision of medication information, (2) advising on medication organisation and (3) conducting medication reviews.
CONCLUSIONS: Informal carers face several challenges in administering the medications to older people living with dementia. Pharmacists are expected to play a more active role in helping people living with dementia, and their carers make safe and effective use of medications.