March 4, 2016

Seven Neglected Areas That Sabotage Healthy Aging – P8

When is comes to the elderly, too many have polypharmacy, me included. Diabetes also adds to the medications. In the elderly, the problem can become severe because of the risk of harm from medication side effects. The CDC states that every year, 177,000 older adults visit the emergency room for medication problems. This is not a great thing to happen to the elderly and it is unknown how many deaths happen because people cannot reach the emergency room.

Polypharmacy is often a burden for the elderly because of the cost of medications. Often a decision needs to be made between medications and food and a medication prescription is not filled as a result. In addition, real hassles occur for many of the elderly in timely taking their medications during the day, especially if they have too many medications. This often can make a chronic condition become worse and lead to doctors failing to realize that the patient has not been able to take all medications as directed.

The point to remember for many of the elderly is that doctors are taught to prescribe medications and often it may be a case that some medications need deprescribing. Research has documented that inappropriate prescribing of medications is common. A careful medication review will often identify medications that are marginally useful or no longer necessary, but you may not get such a review unless you request it.

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