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Veterans MATES
Helping Veterans Get the Best from Their Medicines


When was the last time you had a good talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you take? As we get older we tend to rely on more medicines to help us manage our illnesses and maintain our health. Often we take a range of medicines which, if not taken correctly, can result in additional health problems.


Veterans' MATES is a new program from the Department of Veterans' Affairs that helps veterans and their carers avoid these problems and use their medicines safely.


Most medicines are effective when used as directed by your doctor or pharmacist.


You may also use medicines from supermarkets, health food stores or over the counter medicines along with those prescribed by your doctor. But medicines taken in the wrong way or at the wrong time can cause harm, even an emergency.


Up to one-third of hospital admissions of older people are due to problems with medicines. People mix them up, use them incorrectly or simply forget to take them.


Thankfully, these problems are preventable and Veterans' MATES can help.


Veterans' MATES sends information about different health conditions and medicines to veterans, doctors and pharmacists every few months. So far, materials have covered Home Medicine Reviews, heart conditions, diabetes and arthritis. DVA has joined with Australia's leading Quality Use of Medicines organisations to deliver Veterans' MATES to an estimated 16 000 medical practitioners, 5 500 pharmacies and their veteran patients.


You or your carer can begin to better manage your medicines by talking to your doctor and pharmacist about Veterans' MATES. They can arrange a Home Medicines Review of all your medicines.


Ben, a 78-year-old Korean War veteran, learnt a lot about his medicines after having a Home Medicines Review, which was organised by his doctor. A pharmacist visited Ben in his home, arranged to dispose of out-of-date medicines and helped him organise his tablets. Afterwards, the pharmacist discussed Ben's medicines with his doctor. Ben felt much more confident talking to his doctor and pharmacist about his medicines after the Home Medicines Review.


To get help with your medicines:


Talk to your doctor or pharmacist regularly about your medicines
Ask your doctor about a free Home Medicines Review by a pharmacist in your own home
Call Veterans' MATES on 1300 556 906
Get a copy of the Home Medicines Review brochure at www.dva.gov.au/health/veteransmates

 

 

Copyright 2005-2010 Vietnam Veterans' Federation South Australian Branch Inc.  
Last modified: Tuesday May 09, 2006  
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