Medication and older adults seem to go hand in hand these days in the world's most overmedicated country.
Yes, sadly, medication and seniors are now an all too common combination in America.
Our sedentary lifestyle, with all its conveniences, and the meat-centered Standard American Diet (SAD), with its proliferation of highly processed edible substances (some call that food), have left us with pill boxes overflowing. The pharmaceutical industry loves it.
We'll get to this in a bit. Meanwhile…
The older we get the more importance we put on our ability to remain independent (see also Senior Health News), while living at a place of our own choosing.
That includes managing a medication regimen which could become more complicated as our daily lives go on.
Failing to adhere to this is a major cause of nursing home placement for seniors. Drug-related problems and frailty make admission to these institutions necessary for millions of us every year.
First, of course, comes hospital admission – preceded by a visit to the emergency room - for many.
Non-adherence to prescriptions as well as adverse, toxic reactions to drugs lead to these. And the costs are staggering.
It gets worse…
Hospitals don't make anyone better. Within six months of discharge many of the now even sicker, frail, older adults are readmitted to the hospitals.
Nursing interventions – better management of medications – can sometimes help older adults avoid admission to any of the above mentioned places.
People suffering from depression – becoming more and more common among the elderly – are prone to non-adherence to their prescriptions.
A large percentage of seniors don't know – or forget – about the dire consequences of non-adherence, mix-up, overdose, or toxicity of their medications.
Most people over the age of 65 are taking five or more medications DAILY. Some seniors take dozens!
It's no wonder I had to write a page on Medication and Older Adults…
I'll give you a list of nine drugs that you as a senior should think twice about taking.
You need to become a "partner" in your own health maintenance by using these with great caution.
1. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation.
a) Are you aware that pain killers are the #1 drug of choice in America today?
b) Do you know that deaths caused by overdosing on painkillers surpass the number of murders and deadly car accidents in this country?
2. Muscle relaxants – aside from the fact they don't really work - leave you with a host of side effects, including a risk of falls. As do the next on the list…
3. Anti-anxiety and anti-insomnia drugs. Don't fall for them.
4. Anticholinergic drugs – if you take these you know what they are. They come with lots of bad side effects.
5. Heart medications (see also Reversing Heart Disease)
6. Diabetes drugs (see also Preventing Diabetes)
7. Opioid pain relievers (same as #1. above)
8. Anti-psychotic drugs – Stay in close contact with your physician!
9. Estrogen – From incontinence to breast cancer to dementia – be aware of the risks.
You can't say I didn't give fair warning. Besides, many medications (not just the ones on the above list) may not even have ANY beneficial effects on your senior health.
The Government's own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits that some medicines won't improve your health.
They may even create a larger public health problem, AND may cause many deaths (overdoses of pain killers are a true killer of Americans).
As I have done on many pages on this site, here too I'd like to bring up the only realistic cure in existence --
If you are already on medications, please, not only talk with your doctor about this, but get involved in your health care!
If your physician's M.D. stands for More Drugs – find another one you can trust to guide you on the road to health.
"Medication and older adults" should not be synonymous for "easy money" for the medical establishment.
Drugs cure nothing. They only mask the symptoms.
Instead, you want to HEAL…
And then seriously look into
There is an abundance of science available with regard to the incredible benefits gained from changing your lifestyle in favor of these two lifesavers.
Medication and older adults – you can't prevent getting older, but you can prevent having to take boxes full of pills.
Changes -- or improvements -- in diet and exercise can be achieved. One little step at a time.
Everyone can use a little help. Reach out. I'm here with a passion to help.
It is NEVER too late.
You deserve a healthy, long and fulfilling life.
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