New program to teach about safe medication practices

| July 9, 2021
Emily Marrison, family and consumer sciences educator for Ohio State University Extension, Coshocton County, has received a grant to offer a program in Coshocton County from OSU College of Pharmacy called Generation Rx.
This class is targeted toward older adults. The one-hour class is about being your own health advocate, following safe medication practices, and knowing the risks of medication misuse.
“The grant requires about 75 people over the age of 60 and they have reached out to extension to see if we would be willing to teach in the communities in Ohio especially to older adults,” Marrison said. “They have curriculum for young children, teens and college students and then older adults. On campus its easier for them to reach college students and even children but not necessarily older adults so they were hopeful that we would be able to do that in the rest of Ohio.” There are 10 different counties around the state that received a grant to teach this, and Coshocton County is one of them.
“I need to have at least five groups and the hope is to reach at least 75 people in the county,” Marrison said. “I have one program scheduled now at Kids America after Silver Sneakers and the Coffee Walk and Talk in the morning on Wednesday, July 21 in the little gathering area. Now I am reaching out to others that would be willing to let me come and speak to people sixty and older. So, if there are church groups that have senior members, I would be happy to come and I know there are some retiree groups out there from local manufacturing, retired teachers or retired everybody. If there are some folks that regularly get together somewhere we can come, there.”
The program is all about safe medication practices. There are three focuses with number one to be your own health advocate.
“The goal is to make you feel empowered when you are with your own doctor and that you understand what medication is being prescribed for you,” Marrison said. “That enables you toask questions about the medicine that is being prescribed for you. For example, what the medicine supposed to do or any possible side effects. Some people don’t feel comfortable asking questions or they aren’t sure what questions to ask. This is meant to be an encouragement for people just to be able to ask. It can be overwhelming especially if you just found out that you need medication.”
The second point is to learn safe medication practices like only taking them as directed.
“People of all ages have that problem,” Marrison said. “There are questions for instance, am I taking the medication exactly as directed? We hand out a paper to help them organize what medication they are taking, and we have giveaways for example pill sorters and magnifying glasses, magnifiers with lights on them so you can read the fine print and things like that. Just some tools to help them.”
Third is about the misuse of taking medication.
“Make sure you are taking it exactly as prescribed for the reason it is prescribed,” Marrison said. “The handouts give recommendations on where to keep it and how to store it and disposal. What are the recommendations on how to dispose of the prescription properly? It is a program from Ohio State College of Pharmacy and I’m thankful that they are allowing us to be a part of it and share it with people. If anyone wants me to come and do a program, I would be happy to do that.”
Her goal is to meet with groups before the fair.
“I will try to do most of them in August and September and will offer one online Zoom class,” Marrison said. “The online class will probably be early September. There is a short video and a trivia game, so the class is meant to be fun. What we find especially with adults is that they know a lot more than they think they know.
Medications help us live longer and healthier lives. They can also produce harmful effects when not used properly. This class is designed to inspire safe medication practices for life.”
For information contact the extension office at 740-622-2265.

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