Overmedication: The Silent Killer Of the Elderly - page 4

The healthcare system in America has developed into one with the ability to prolong quality of life. When it comes to the older population who often take multiple medications due to chronic issues,... Read More

  1. by   ~♪♫ in my ♥~
    Quote from Tommy5677
    Now, if you want to challenge competency, lets' talk about the pharmacists involved. What are they doing to address polypharmacy in the elderly? Apparently nothing. They are supposedly a part of the patient's health care team but where are they? Sometimes I believe they went to school for 5 years to learn how to count pills.
    Just as nursing roles are not all created equal, neither are pharmacy roles.

    The ones working the counter at the local pill mill, or worse yet, the ones lending their licenses to Express Scripts and the like, are far removed from professional clinical pharmacists such as are utilized at my medical center. These folks round with the teams in the ICUs and actively monitor therapies on the floors. There is a dedicated group in the ED who did ED post-doc work. The issue for the patients is with their 'home' meds, which are handled by their PCPs and consult docs... and without the benefit of the clinical pharmacists.
  2. by   bbyRN
    Oversimplified, inexperienced, rmchair, bookish comments about the use of meds as chemical restraints just decreases the care that the overworked, understaffed, underpaid nursing assistants are able to provide the majority of residents in our SNFs. My staff doesn't need to be injured and I will protect them from uncontrolled residents. You want your violent family members cared for, taken home and do it yourself.
  3. by   Wuzzie
    My father is in his eighties and has dementia. It's mild right now but he has associated sleep disorders and sleep apnea. He has not started his CPAP therapy due to a few other issues and his NEUROLOGIST prescribed Ativan of all things to treat his sleep disorder. My mother knows to check with me when he is prescribed something new and I told her under no circumstances should he take it. I thought everyone knew it can exacerbate dementia in the elderly and it is inappropriate to prescribe it for chronic sleep issues. I knew it and said something, his pharmacist knew it and said something and even the insurance company questioned it yet his doctor, who is a specialist, thought nothing of prescribing it even though neither my father or mother requested a medication to treat the issue. This is really scary. Not everyone has someone looking out for them like my folks do. One of my friends parents (with Alzheimer's) was given IV Ativan for a hip MRI. He went into the machine mildly confused and came out a blithering idiot who then required nursing home care. My grandfather, a surgeon, was given too much narcotic and was not monitored closely enough. He had a hypoxic seizure and was neurologically compromised from that point on requiring total care. This was at a world reknown hospital. The consequences of overmedicating the elderly are very real and can be devastating.

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