Introducing our new online store and app

Can you imagine being on the bus or at home in the evening and suddenly remembering that your moisturiser, that you normally buy from us, is about to run out? This month, we have finalised a technological wonder; we have launched our new website and app to download onto your mobile. Our aim is to keep you up to date with our news, pharmaceutical advice and health warnings wherever you are.

With our new website, in just one click, you can browse through all of our available products (including those that due to lack of space, we can’t always display as we have more than 2000 products), buy them online and choose if you want to come and pick it up from the pharmacy or if you prefer it to be delivered to your house.  What’s more, if you place your order in advance, anticipating your and your family’s needs, the delivery could be free.

Also, if you live abroad or you’re preparing a trip abroad, we can help you to get the best healthcare products at the lowest prices in Europe. Ask us about postage costs if you’re interested.

As always, we aim to make your life easier and more flexible.  You choose how much time you wish to spend in our pharmacy; if you know what you want and only need to make a purchase or if you’d prefer to spend a bit more time with us so that we can listen to you and assess your needs.

So, as of now, you can also visit us online at www.tufarmaciacerca.es

Have a great summer!

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A show of appreciation for your loyalty

How many years have we known each other? Some of you since we first opened 39 years ago, others since then and there are those of you that keep coming, even after moving away to a different area of Valencia.

We have always tried, one way or another, to show our appreciation for your loyalty, your understanding when we have been going through difficult times and above all, for your affection.

We have decided that now would be a good time to take things a step further and formally express our gratitude by rewarding your loyalty to us; you will receive points for every purchase you make and when you reach a certain number of points you will be able to exchange these for other products in our pharmacy.

Hence, we have launched a loyalty card. The reasons for which are two-fold; on one hand, to economically reward your loyalty as a sign of our appreciation; on the other, to keep you up to date with any offers that arise as it is sometimes difficult to inform everyone due to a lack of technical means.

To take advantage of this gift, ask to sign up and provide us with some personal details. Throughout this month, to promote this innovation, we are giving double points for your purchases as part of our welcome campaign.

So, be sure to ask us for your loyalty card and reap the benefits!

Here´s to a happy summer!

 

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

English translation: Nicola McGrath

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Skin analysis now available in our pharmacy

FOTO MICROCAYA

In March we launched a new service in our pharmacy which some of our clients have already benefitted from: our skin analysis service. What does it involve?

Throughout our lives our skin goes through different phases, not only due to aging but also due to hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, medical treatments, menopause etc) or daily life situations (stress, tiredness).

With a view to raising awareness about the condition of your skin as well as assessing which cosmetic products would be best for you, our pharmacy now has a service at your disposal to analyse your skin and measure its elasticity, hydration, pigmentation and fat content.

The process takes 30 minutes on the first visit, 20 minutes in the follow-up sessions and is completely painless. A sanitized, disposable pad is passed over your face and the skin analyser gives information on the aforementioned criteria on the one hand and on the other, which products would be best suited to your skin type.

This service is available every day and the first visit is free. The follow-up visits will have a cost of 7 euros, only applied if the client does not wish to purchase any of the products recommended in the analysis results. This way, we can sustain the service and dissuade people from taking advantage of our time and effort; some may think that saving a euro by buying products elsewhere is more important than receiving professional service.

In the coming months we will keep you informed of additional services we are developing in the area of dermatology.

Enjoy the month of May!

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

English translation: Nicola McGrath

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What about you, do you discriminate against the elderly?

Ageismo 3Have you heard of ageism? Most probably not, along with its synonyms: age-biased discrimination and agedness.  It is something that occurs when a person is discriminated against for their age affecting their freedom, rights and social recognition. We are often not even aware of it as it can be hidden behind what appears to be affection or protection.

Ageism can present itself in both positive and negative ways. The former refers to situations where we are overprotective towards an elderly person, in some cases treating them like a child. We should remember that, even though some may not have all their faculties, they have undoubtedly lived through things that we are not aware of and they do not deserve to be belittled. They have a right to be treated with respect and recognised for the adult they have been and still are.

Negative ageism involves abandonment, guilt, rejection or indifference.

Recently, in the pharmacy we came across a new term called “gerontophobia” defined as rejecting the elderly. This can be seen, for example, in the way we address them by calling them “old-timer” or “old boy” or by labelling them as inactive, unproductive or a weight around the tax payer’s neck.

In terms of healthcare, this discrimination can transpire from not providing enough protection or indeed, providing too much. Extreme cases would be denying rehabilitation on the grounds that it would fail due to the patient’s age or providing care for elderly people that are in good health and are capable of looking after themselves.

Our pharmacy would like to point out the importance of maintaining dignity and as much independence as possible in all stages of life.  Avoid succumbing to stereotypes or attitudes that are of no benefit to anyone, especially as one day we will all reach this stage of life.

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

English translation: Nicola McGrath

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Sports craze

Fiebre-deportePhysical exercise is as old as humanity itself as right from the start it was necessary for hunting and feeding ourselves.  Over 2000 years ago Plato said Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”

Everyone knows that physical exercise is important for our health and acts as a preventative measure against heart disease and diabetes. However, over recent years, a kind of “sports craze” has come about, whereby many are doing too much physical exercise either in terms of time or intensity.

There are numerous consequences of overdoing sport of which we shall name a few:

  • It accelerates the aging process due to the release of free radicals which increase oxidative stress and prematurely age body cells.
  • It contributes to the beginnings of heart and circulatory problems such as arrhythmia and even causing sudden death.
  • It produces muscle strain and tiredness which can lead to finding it difficult to fall asleep.
  • It increases the possibility of muscular and joint injuries.
  • It can lead to other disorders such as amenorrhea (missed periods), emotional health problems etc.

Our pharmacy always recommends physical exercise, but it must be said that not everybody can do all types of sports. The age, physical condition, prior injuries and illnesses of each person must be taken into consideration.

To look after our body and have a healthy lifestyle, gentle and regular exercise is one of the most basic elements.

In the pharmacy we can give you tips on how to improve your health and maintain healthier habits. Don’t hesitate to ask us.

Text: Ausias Hervás

English translation: Nicola McGrath

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And yet, you are still with us….

EliasYear in and year out, daily life goes on. Sometimes we hear good news and at other times sad news, but these past few weeks something has happened that I have to admit, has caught us all off guard.  Every time one of our patients loses their life fighting an illness or in an accident, a part of us leaves with them. You have trusted us with your hopes and worries and we will always have memories, anecdotes and laughter.  Indeed, it is from these moments that affection is born.

However, something has happened this month. One by one, people that for us were important, people who have taught us many things through their example, have left us.  First was Mr Valentin who, although I may not be able to forgive him for being such an avid Barcelona fan, was someone we all admired for his sense of honour and family values. Then, our dearest Elias who always knew how to make us smile, even when we were telling him off for not looking after himself. After whom, Adela left us with a great life legacy: raising a child who, as well as being an extraordinary professional, is also an outstanding colleague. A little later, Pura passed away and we already miss her on Saturday mornings. Lastly, Frank, who for us has been an example of strength (day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year), of courage and good will, who had a soul that, quite simply, was too big for his body and left us too soon.

We also remember others whose unexpected departure has affected us: M Angeles, Inda, Carmen, Ana, Rafa, Mercedes, M Luz, Francisco, Fernando, Amparo… There are many of you that day after day with your presence, not only do you give meaning to our profession but you also set an example of strength and courage. Thank you for being there, and although we can no longer see you, we still feel your presence among us. Have a good journey home.

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

Translation: Nicola McGrath

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Looking after the elderly and those that care for them

Cuidado-mayoresIt is nothing new to hear about how our society is getting older at an accelerated rate; Spain currently has more than eight million people over the age of 65 (17.3% of the population).  By 2052, this number will grow to 37%, with the biggest increase being in the number of people over the age of 80.  Given that aging is a progressive, universal, irreversible and unavoidable process, part of our role, as your pharmacy, is to meet the needs of our elderly clients and their carers by specialising in and giving practical advice on their care.

Throughout 2017 we will gradually introduce ideas aimed at improving aspects of caring for the elderly, such as the correct dosage of medication.  This will require specialised training for our team and also official authorisation to be able to prepare Personalised Dosage Systems (blister packs with the medication a patient should take each day) for those clients or carers that request them.  We will also be organising various activities, including talks, for our patients/clients related to caring for the elderly.  These will be advertised on Facebook, Twitter and posters in the pharmacy.

The profile of the average carer, is usually a family member, a daughter, between 40 and 50 years old, married with children, working and with no formal training in how to look after the elderly. Considering the profile of this group, we aim to provide you with advice about how to improve the care you give to the elderly and also tips on how to look after yourself in order to avoid your physical and mental health being affected by this role.

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

Translation: Nicola McGrath

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Dietician Service

VegetalesTimes are changing as are our needs and for this reason we are also changing services we think our pharmacy should offer.  Many of our customers have expressed concerns regarding their metabolism and weight and as such we have decided to introduce a dietician and nutritionist service from the month of January.

Due to the growing number of people interested in losing weight, our services will also be available to those that have nutritional needs due to chronic illnesses and special cases (diabetes, high blood pressure or sports).  With this in mind, starting this month, a qualified nutritionist will come once a week and be at your disposal for consultation and to give nutritional advice about what steps to take to make the necessary changes.  We are also organising free conferences dealing with this subject and offering practical guidelines.

Lastly, remember that fortunately we live at a time when, one way or another, a large percentage of illnesses can be treated with pharmaceuticals.  Our next objective is to work on our physical healthcare through different means: nutrition, life style (physical exercise, sleep, giving up smoking) and our emotional health, for which we are arranging a surprise this year.

To finish off this month’s article we wish all of our team a happy 2017.  May all your hopes for happiness and good health come true!

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

English translation: Nicola McGrath

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The effects of drugs on recent history

Guerra-del-OpioWhen historians talk about war they usually refer to tanks, economic or social crises. However, there is little mention of other phenomena, no doubt taboo, such as drug use. This month we underline two historical events, both heavily conditioned by part of the population’s addiction to drugs, upon which we should reflect.

The first is the Opium War between China and England from 1839 to 1842. Opium was introduced to China by the English, via India, and was used as a source of income to pay their debts against the colossal amounts of tea they imported. China eventually illegalised the sale of opium due to the high number of addicts and its consequential impact on health and society. This ban prompted the British to send troops to Hong Kong which resulted in victory over the Chinese who were henceforth obliged to open their ports to international commerce. In other words, a population of millions (411 million inhabitants at that time) succumbed to a much younger and smaller country (approximately 18 million) because of events heavily related to addiction.

The second case, discussed by the author Norman Olher in his book “Blitzed”, was the mass consumption of pervitin (crystal methamphetamine) by the German troops during the Second World War. As such, German soldiers were infamous for their cruelty, even when compared to the behaviour of others in most other wars. Again, addiction made something that was already bad into something much worse.

These two events serve as a reminder to both doctors and patients of the importance of evaluating if the consumption of legalised drugs, such as opiates, especially benzodiazepine, is absolutely necessary and appropriate. We should bear in mind that prolonged consumption of these substances changes the structure of the brain cortex. Our own health and the effects it has on our society and our children is dependent on us, particularly when we consider that Spain is the largest consumer in the world of Trankimazin, Noctamid and Orfidal; four times more than in Germany or Great Britain. This is without including the other active ingredients within the same group which have the same effects. Why aren’t we worried that we have an issue with mass addiction?  Something to think about over the next month…

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

Translation: Nicola McGrath

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A Valencian Personality: Father Jofré

Padre Jofre (2)The Valencian artist Joaquín Sorolla acknowledged another deserving, fellow Valencian, Padre Jofré, in one of his famous paintings.  Jofré, born in the 14th century, was ahead of his time when it came to protecting people with mental illnesses.

The painting “Father Jofré Protecting a Madman” shows us one chapter in this religious man’s life.  This once law scholar, embraced religion and dedicated his life to helping Christians that had been captured by Muslims during the Reconquest.  It was due to this experience that he learnt of the types of therapy used by Muslims on mentally ill patients, the most advanced treatments available at that time.  However, in this era, Christians considered the mentally ill to be possessed by the devil, bringing about verbal and physical abuse from others.

Sorolla’s painting shows Jofré standing up to a gang of youths, stoning a mentally disturbed young man.  This painting inspired Jofré to change his sermon for the beginning of Lent.  On Ash Wenesday, 1409, he preached about the protection of the mentally ill, convincing the parish that they had an obligation to support these people.  This eventually led to the opening of the first psychiatric hospital in the world: the building we now know as the Public Library of Valencia on Hospital Street.  Within the confines of this building patients were protected and treated with love but also unable to inflict harm on others.  Activities such as arts and crafts, gardening, embroidery and physical exercise were provided as well as rehabilitation all in a clean environment.

Father Jofré also founded the first orphanage for poor children in Valencia together with Saint Vincent Ferrer, a patron himself of the protection and reinsertion of prostitutes into society and the founder of the hostel in El Puig for needy pilgrims.

People with such forward thinking and empathy towards others should be brought to the forefront of our minds as they are often forgotten, their lives and what they achieved is a source of inspiration for us all.

Text: Victoria González de Buitrago

Translation: Nicola McGrath

 

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