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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

American Geriatrics Society Says Not All Medications Are Good for Seniors

by Deah on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 9:15 AM

Due to changes brought about by aging, many seniors are more vulnerable to harmful effects of some medications, including over the counter medications. When appropriately prescribed and monitored, medications are an effective way to maintain older adult’s health, control chronic disease and pain, and recover from illnesses. People of the age of 65 and older account for over one third of all prescription medication used and almost one third of all over the counter medications. I have often commented that my parents take so many medications that it is no wonder they do not have an appetite anymore.

Because of this volume of use and other aging issues there is a greater chance of experiencing unwanted drug side effects, issues with interactions, and sensitivity to certain medications. To help older adults make better, informed decisions about their drug usage the American Geriatrics Society’s (AGS) recommends that older people be cautious about using certain types of medications. The AGS maintains a list of medications that are likely to cause problems for older adults. It is referred as the Beers List and is an informative document for doctors when prescribing drugs to the elderly and to help improve their care.

The Beers list is periodically updated and the AGS has recently released their latest edition of the 2019 update to the “Beers Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults.” The update was published online January 29 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

How would you as a caregiver use this Beers List? By reviewing the medications your loved one is taking to see if they are on the Beers list. If they are, you might want to discuss what you found with the physician, ask if they are absolutely necessary, and ask about alternatives. Of course, the doctor is the expert - but you may want to use this list as a tool to be sure your loved one is getting the best possible care and be sure you understand their condition as well as the best treatment.

Author
Deah

Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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