It’s smart to be concerned, especially if your older relative takes five or more medications. Medications can provide many benefits, but they also can easily cause problems.
The CDC estimates that every year 177,000 older adults visit the emergency room due to medication-related problems. But even medications that don’t prompt ER visits may be causing more harm than good, and researchers have documented that “inappropriate prescribing” is common among seniors.
For all these reasons, a big part of what we do as geriatricians is to regularly review an older person’s medications, for safety and appropriateness.
Now, to properly review medications, you do need to work with clinically trained professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, and nurses.
But I am a big believer in the idea that well-informed patients and families are key to getting the healthcare work done better.
So I’ve written a two-part article for A Place for Mom, about how you can help an older person get the most out of his or her medication review. Here’s part one:
In this article, I share five medication safety truths that I always keep in mind, and that you should too! They are: [Read more…]