Have you ever wondered whether you — or your older relative — might be taking too many medications?
You’re certainly right to ask yourself this. I consider this for all my own patients, and wish every doctor would.
In part, this is because over the years, I’ve had countless older adults express their worries and frustrations, related to their medications. These include:
- The hassle of having so many pills to take
- Worries about side-effects
- Frustration with medication costs
- Wondering whether a given medication is the “right” one for you, or for your condition
- The sneaky feeling that some of those medications don’t seem to help much
- The hassle of coordinating a long medication list among multiple doctors
Needless to say, all of this is not so good for quality of life while aging.
And unlike some things that people worry about, these concerns are all actually justified, given what geriatricians know about older adults and medications.
So if you’ve ever experienced the above worries — or if you (or your older relative) are taking more than five medications — then I want to make sure you know about a process that can improve or resolve all those problems that older adults have with their medications.
It’s called deprescribing, and it’s really essential to optimizing the health of an older person.
In this article, I’ll cover what every older adult and family caregiver should know about it:
- What is deprescribing?
- Why is deprescribing especially important for older adults?
- How does deprescribing work?
- What medications are most important for older adults to consider deprescribing?
- How can older adults and family caregivers get doctors to address deprescribing?
This way, you’ll have a better shot at what everyone wants when it comes to medication: