Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, both Miami residents, are excited about their decision to get married. They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding, and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in. He then addresses the man behind the counter: “Are you the owner?”
The pharmacist answers, “Yes.”
Jacob: “We’re about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?”
Pharmacist: “Of course, we do.”
Jacob: “How about medicine for circulation?”
Pharmacist: “All kinds.”
Jacob: “Medicine for rheumatism?”
Jacob: “How about suppositories?”
Pharmacist: “You bet!”
Jacob: “Medicine for memory problems, arthritis and Alzheimer’s?”
Pharmacist: “Yes, a large variety. The works.”
Jacob: “What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson’s disease?”
Jacob: “Everything for heartburn and indigestion?”
Pharmacist: “We sure do.”
Jacob: “You sell wheelchairs and walkers and canes?”
Pharmacist: “All speeds and sizes.”
Jacob: “Adult diapers?”
Jacob: “We’d like to use this store as our Bridal Registry.”
While the above story reflects a humorous look of the aging process and the corresponding increased need for medications, the reality is adults over the age of 65 consume a large percentage of prescription and over-the-counter medications. In fact, adults from ages 65-69 average 14 medications per day while adults from ages 80-84 average 18 medications per day.
Clearly, as the body ages, more and more medications are needed to treat diseases and balance the system. J. Avorn stresses this high importance of medication in “Medication Use and the Elderly: Current Status and Opportunities,” Health Affair, Spring 1995, saying, “Medications are probably the single most important health care technology in preventing illness, disability, and death in the geriatric population.”
However, there is a downside to medication usage in the elderly when adverse drug reactions occur, impacting the patient’s health and increasing their medical bills. Statistically, 36% of seniors have reported experiencing these reactions, accounting for around 30% of hospitalizations among the elderly.
So what can we do to ensure our senior citizens are receiving the positive outcome of drug therapy while mitigating the negative? Just as Jacob did, talk to a pharmacist! A Consultant or Senior Care pharmacist, to be precise.
Consulting senior care pharmacists take a close look at the individual as a whole and analyze their medications as they relate to their disease state, nutrition status, lab values, and other medications. Personalized care increases the probability of living well longer. Contact Our Personal Pharmacist to begin this essential care for your Mom or Dad