Caring for aging loved ones is one of the most challenging tasks this world has to offer.
Life is moving quickly, decisions are needing to be made rapidly, and individuals can often be left feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, and utterly frustrated.
What if I told you that there is a person that is there for you at exactly your most frustrating time.
Right when you don’t think you can keep this up.
Sona has the best available – her name is Heather McHaley.
Tell us a little about yourself, Heather!
My name is Heather McHaley, and I am a patient care coordinator for Sona Access. I am very passionate about my role within Sona Pharmacy. Serving and helping people is what I feel I have been led to do. I am so proud to be a part of this great program!
Outside of work I am a wife and mom to 3 crazy teenagers. I enjoy spending my time listening to their latest gossip and adventures. We are a very busy family and always on the go. Spending time with my husband is very limited, but we believe in quality over quantity. Grabbing coffee and just having a conversation together is something we enjoy most!
I am an Asheville native and am so blessed to have my roots planted in this beautiful region. Working for a local independent business makes it even better!
What is the Sona Access program?
Sona Access is a referral based program within Sona Pharmacy.
The Access program helps bridge the transition of care from either skilled nursing, home health, or recent hospitalizations. We believe in partnering with our patients and caregivers to knock down any barriers they may have to medication adherence.
Sona Access offer a wide variety of enhanced pharmacy services.
Medication reconciliation is a vital part of the program. Each month patients or caregivers will receive a monthly care call from one of our Sona technicians. During this call, we discuss the medications the patient is taking, and if they have been to their primary care provider or hospital within the last month. If medication changes have been made, we reach out to their doctor for a new med list.
After we have completed the patient’s care call, we determine a time that is convenient to deliver their medications. At Sona, we offer free delivery on all prescriptions within 45 minutes of Asheville and Hendersonville.
Our Access program fills medications based on cycle fills. This means all patient prescriptions are delivered at the same time, eliminating multiple monthly deliveries or trips to the pharmacy.
Sona Access also offers adherence packaging. We understand medications and diagnoses can be complex. We want to simplify the medication piece as much as possible. Our seven day pill packs are a great tool to make life easier. Pill packs eliminate the need to fill a pill box, freeing up time to focus on other needs.
If you would like to learn more about the program, please feel free to contact me at any time.
What is your favorite memory of working at Sona?
One of my favorite memories is helping a patient we will call Ms. B*.
Throughout the last 18 months, this patient has been in and out of the hospital and multiple skilled nursing facilities. During each of her rehabilitation stays I have visited with her and made sure her medication regimen was up to date. I have even visited her a few times at her home to make sure she understood any new medications or dose changes.
Throughout these months, Ms. B grew to trust me and Sona Pharmacy.
Late one Friday afternoon, Ms. B called to tell me her health had declined too much to remain at home. She would be admitted to a long term care facility that same evening. She wanted to personally tell me, and asked me to please come see her there. Of course I went to visit! I took her a nice plant and it absolutely made her day! Before I left I received a hug and a request to smuggle in cheese puffs.
Cheese puffs are now always on my grocery list.
You work with a lot of individuals caring for their aging parents. What advice do you have for them? And for their parents?
Caregiving can take a toll on even the most resilient people. Daily, I see the stress and hear stories from caregivers who are overwhelmed.
My advice to caregivers is to take care of yourself.
Carve out a few minutes to breath deeply, reflect, and energize yourself. Self care is non-negotiable when you are taking care of a loved one. Take life day by day and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I salute all caregivers.
As our parents and loved ones age and begin to require care, we must remember there is a thin line between caring for them and controlling them. Loved ones want to know they are cared about, but they also fear losing their independence.
To the person being cared for, I would tell them to be honest with their caregiver. Let them know how you feel. Also, realize they are caring for you out of love and respect and only want the best possible care for you.
What drives you to do what you do each day?
Each day with Sona Access brings a new opportunity to serve someone. Knowing that our program makes a true impact on patients’ lives by helping them stay independent and healthy drives me to do what I do each and every day.
I am honored to serve our patients and their families. Thank you to all of our patients for trusting Sona Pharmacy.
*Name changed to protect patient information