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AGEWISE: How to find help paying for medications
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AGEWISE: How to find help paying for medications

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Q: I am having trouble paying for medications. Are there any local organizations that I can go to for assistance?

— PH

Answer: Lacking the financial resources to pay for needed medications can certainly be stressful. Fortunately, there are resources available in our area than can help with both prescription and over-the-counter medications.

If you are having trouble paying for prescription medications, Crisis Control Ministry is a local nonprofit organization that provides assistance through their licensed, free pharmacy. Residents of Forsyth and Stokes counties who do not have health insurance with prescription coverage and are in need of prescription medications that they cannot afford may qualify for assistance. For information about which prescription medications are available and other questions about Crisis Control Ministry’s Pharmacy, please call 336-724-2649.

NC MedAssist is a statewide nonprofit pharmacy in North Carolina that can assist with over-the-counter (OTC) medications through their Mobile Free Pharmacy and OTC Store. They will host a free over-the-counter medicine giveaway on Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Hanes Hosiery Community Center, 501 Reynolds Blvd. in Winston-Salem. No appointment or pre-registration is required. However, requests for specific medications can be made by pre-ordering online at medassist.org/mobile and picked up at the event. The Mobile Free Pharmacy is open to everyone 18 years or older, and you may also pick up items for a friend or family member.

Q: My mother fell recently, and, since her fall, I have noticed that she’s more hesitant about driving. Could this be related to her fall, and can you provide information about alternative transportation since she’s driving less often?

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— SR

Answer: There is a possible connection between your mother’s recent fall and her hesitancy about driving. A research study conducted by students at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) may be able to help.

The American Geriatrics Society reports that falls may lower our ability to drive safely as we age for a couple of reasons. A fall can impact an older adult’s physical and mental well-being. Physically, a fall may cause an injury that could limit mobility while steering and operating a vehicle. Once a person falls, they may also start to limit their physical activity and range of motion out of fear that they will fall again.

Not moving the body as much can cause it to weaken, which may also affect how a person moves and operates a vehicle. Mentally, an older adult may experience increased fear and anxiety as the result of a fall. This may cause them to change how they drive. The underlying factors that initially led to the fall, such as problems with vision or balance, can also increase difficulty with driving.

Winston-Salem State University is currently conducting a study for adults aged 65 and older related to community mobility, which will also include questions related to driving and fall prevention.

Winston-Salem State University professor, Dr. Megan Edwards Collins says that, “Community mobility is an important factor for quality of life and our overall health. It’s often something that’s not really thought much about until it’s too late. We want to explore that a little bit more and see what services are currently out there, what kinds of resources people would like to see as options, and how fall prevention plays a role in community mobility. If we have a fear of falling, that may limit our willingness and ability to get out and about.”

Participants in the study will receive a free screening for fall risk and have an opportunity to share insights related to driving, falls and available transportation resources. The study will run through the beginning of November. Individuals 65 or older who would like more information or are interested in participating in the study can contact Megan Edwards Collins at edwardsme@wssu.edu.

For older adults in need of transportation assistance, there are a variety of transportation options in Forsyth County. Visit Senior Services’ Online Directory of Services at seniorservicesinc.org/resources/directory/ to access a list of agencies and organizations that provide assistance.

AgeWise is a weekly column compiled by staff of Senior Services Inc., a nonprofit organization in Winston-Salem. If you have a question, email agewise@seniorservicesinc.org or mail to Senior Services, 2895 Shorefair Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27105.

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