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Sharps Exchange Partnership with local pharmacy and clients

Status: Ongoing

North York Canada
Print this page City population: 65590015% over 60Practice started in 2017


Many of our seniors are frail, with mobility challenges and cannot dispose of sharps safely.  Instead, they leave them in the open or in garbage bags, creating an unsafe environment that could lead not just to painful pin pricks but to more serious consequences, even causing death. In an effort to increase safety in the home, connections to seniors’ pharmacy and mobility support, Lumacare created a partnership with the local Shopper’s Drug Mart. Implementation begins with the Client Care Coordinators identifying the need for this partnership with the senior based on a standardized assessment, connecting them to the pharmacy to have the sharps container delivered, installed and disposed appropriately and arrange for the program to begin between the client and the pharmacy. It is believed that this partnership allows for clients to create a deeper connection to their local pharmacy, increases their efficiency for less mobile seniors, reduces caregiver stress, ensures the safety of themselves and any caregivers entering the home and allows for the medical care to remain as comprehensive and safe as possible. To date, 12 clients have been connected to this initiative in our local catchment area. Program Service Workers, informal caregivers and clients report feeling safer, policies have been created for Lumacare Services, and greater awareness of the need for proper disposal has been created, ultimately enhancing the seniors’ capacity to manage their own medical needs. Further, needle-stick injuries and any resulting infections and concerns identified by Personal Support Workers (PSWs) have been reduced as evidenced by zero new PSW Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims, an uptake of 50 sharps containers being delivered to clients and reported feelings of increased safety when managing needle disposal.  We have learned that seniors are loyal to their known pharmacy and are less likely to switch providers. As a result, we have expanded the program to include other pharmacies in a less formal manner than a partnership.

Key facts

Main target group: Older people with chronic health conditions or disability

Other target group(s): Frail elderly adults.

Sector(s): Education, Health, Social protection

Desired outcome for older people:
Meet their basic needs

Other issues the Age-friendly practice aims to address:
  • Accessibility
  • Ageing in place
  • Healthy behaviours (e.g. physical activity)
  • Inequities

Contact details

Name: Dang, Danielle

Email address:

Preferred language(s): English

Age-friendly practice in detail (click to expand):

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