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Swapping Roles with Aging Parents – Learning to Compare Medicare Part D Costs

This is one of two sponsored posts for Walgreens. Thanks to Walgreens for trusting Sunshine and Sippy Cups to tell the story of caregiving and  comparing Medicare Part D plans. Compensation was received, but opinions shared are 100% mine – as always.

“To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” – Barbara Bush… My family is everything to me. We’ve been through a lot of challenges. But at the end of the day, like most families out there, we all know that we will be there for each other. When I was sick as a little girl – my dad would make chicken noodle soup. My mom would brush my hair from my forehead, and sing me songs to help me sleep. So now, as my parents are ageing, and need more help, I’m trying to do my best to balance the demands of my new life as a mom with my responsibility to help through these new challenges in their life. After a lifetime helping me grow into a strong, compassionate, capable woman – it’s now my time to show them what a great job they did.

Becoming a caregiver

This is my dad.

My dad has had a lot of health problems off and on through my life. Years ago, he lived with my younger brother and his wife for a couple of years after breaking a hip. While he’s not always been in the best of health – he’s always been a BIG man – over 6 foot, wide shoulders, strong. So that’s a lot of weight to put on a hip while you rehabilitate it. During those couple of years, my brother learned a lot about how hard it can be as a caregiver – something I had learned long ago from watching my mom be a caregiver to so many people in our family. Trying to maneuver the processes of filling his prescriptions, finding the best doctors, and figuring out how to help dad pay for everything. It’s a lot of weight on your shoulders when you’re not familiar with this stuff – and most of us at this age really aren’t familiar with it all at all.

Wanting to help.

My dad did recover from that hip, and was doing so incredibly much better for a long time. Lately he’s had a few set backs – but keeps bouncing back again, with such an amazing positive attitude every single time. This last time he had a surgery, I invited him to come and stay with us for awhile. He was feeling pretty good, and decided to make the 3 hour drive from the Seattle area to come and stay for a week. Well, once again, the unfairness of life hit him with some complications again. He had to rest in bed for a couple of days. He apologized every time he made the simplest of requests – like could I fill his water bottle again with ice, or make him a quick can of soup. It made me realize how frustrating it must be when you can’t do things on your own… And how my parents – who have both always been so independent – will both feel someday when they really can’t do things on their own at all anymore. Which made me realize that it’s never too early to start thinking about how that will work.

Learning how to help.

This video says, “If your at the corner of Medicare and big savings, bring your prescriptions into Walgreens. You may be able to save with lower copays.” Like I mentioned in my last post about a month ago, the job of being a caregiver most often falls to women. And most of the people that they’re taking care of are members of Medicare Part D, are confused about how it all works, and don’t know the best way to save on their prescriptions. So, one of my all time fave pharmacies has put together some tools to help you compare medicare part d plans. Even if you don’t need this info right yet – it’s a great thing to read up on, so you’re ready when the time comes. And if you’re already helping older family members, Walgreens can be a tremendous help – it is in my family.

medicare part d savings at walgreens


Walgreens new initiative called, “You’re Worth Savings” is here to educate Medicare beneficiaries, and those who care for them, about new cost saving opportunities and how to get the most from their health plan. They have three easy steps that can help Medicare Part D beneficiaries save as much as 75 percent on prescription drug costs:

  • 1. Review your Medicare Part D plan
  • 2. Talk to a Walgreens pharmacist about cost concerns and ways you might be able to save
  • 3. Compare co-pay and other costs against your current plan and pharmacy

Why should you check out Walgreens? Well, using a preferred network pharmacy, if one is offered by the Part D plan, can potentially save beneficiaries hundreds of dollars each year on prescription co-pay costs.  Yet, only 21 percent of respondents switched to a pharmacy within their plan’s preferred network as a way to save, and one-fourth (24 percent) are unaware of whether their plan offers a preferred pharmacy option.

Walgreens helps you figure out Medicare Part D costs

If you have questions about how this works or where to get additional information – feel free to tweet me at @sunandsipcups, or get in touch with @Walgreens with questions too. I’ve been here, and done that. I know how difficult it can be to figure it all out – and how hard it can be to see the parents we’ve always looked to as strong caretakers suddenly need us to take on that role for them. Drop me a line on Facebook, or leave a comment here. I love hearing from you guys.


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