Tag Archives: Old age

Straight, No Chaser: Do Medications Work Differently in Older People?

geriatrics_clip_image

The elderly are living longer and more productively. Part of being able to do so is by maintaining an understanding of how your actions  affect you. One common action of many of the elderly is taking medications. You should be aware that medications have changing effects with aging, and there are many different reasons for that fact.
First of all, changes in our physiology due to aging make the effects of drugs less predictable and consistent than in younger people. A slower metabolism, increases in body fat and alterations in the function of the kidney and liver (major mechanisms for drug elimination) have important ramifications for what ingested substances will do. Thus, the elderly require more stringent monitoring of drug levels and effects, and you may find that your physician needs to adjust medication doses. This same consideration explains why side effects are more common among the elderly.
Be reminded the presence of other diseases brings additional effects and challenges. Just as with one’s own relatively diminished function, disease imposes the same type of changes onto the body. This can speed the presence of side effects and toxicity as well as adjust the effective dose of a medication.

medmngt

Have you ever seen the individual with a small ‘army’ of medications? Think about it. The more medications one takes, the more likely drug interactions will ensue and changes in effectiveness in any single medication may occur. This effect incrementally increases with each additional drug one takes. Similarly, the more medications one is taking, the most likely one is to make a mistake in taking the correct medication at the right time. Now consider your independently living parents or grandparents. The elderly often are more prone to make these types of errors.
What can you do about this? Get organized, and get help! Those daily medication containers are good solutions to incorrectly dosing medications. If you’re especially organized, a log is great—not necessarily for you, but for the physician that will be trying to figure out why you’re dizzy or have an altered mental status if and when that occurs.
Talk with each doctor you see or a pharmacist about what to expect from the combination of medications you take; it can make your lives a lot less complicated.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Do Medications Work Differently in Older People?

geriatrics_clip_image

The elderly are living longer and more productively. Part of being able to do so is by maintaining an understanding of how your actions  affect you. One common action of many of the elderly is taking medications. You should be aware that medications have changing effects with aging, and there are many different reasons for that fact.
First of all, changes in our physiology due to aging make the effects of drugs less predictable and consistent than in younger people. A slower metabolism, increases in body fat and alterations in the function of the kidney and liver (major mechanisms for drug elimination) have important ramifications for what ingested substances will do. Thus, the elderly require more stringent monitoring of drug levels and effects, and you may find that your physician needs to adjust medication doses. This same consideration explains why side effects are more common among the elderly.
Be reminded the presence of other diseases brings additional effects and challenges. Just as with one’s own relatively diminished function, disease imposes the same type of changes onto the body. This can speed the presence of side effects and toxicity as well as adjust the effective dose of a medication.

medmngt

Have you ever seen the individual with a small ‘army’ of medications? Think about it. The more medications one takes, the more likely drug interactions will ensue and changes in effectiveness in any single medication may occur. This effect incrementally increases with each additional drug one takes. Similarly, the more medications one is taking, the most likely one is to make a mistake in taking the correct medication at the right time. Now consider your independently living parents or grandparents. The elderly often are more prone to make these types of errors.
What can you do about this? Get organized, and get help! Those daily medication containers are good solutions to incorrectly dosing medications. If you’re especially organized, a log is great—not necessarily for you, but for the physician that will be trying to figure out why you’re dizzy or have an altered mental status if and when that occurs.
Talk with each doctor you see or a pharmacist about what to expect from the combination of medications you take; it can make your lives a lot less complicated.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Do medications work differently in older people?

geriatrics_clip_image

The elderly are living longer and more productively. Part of being able to do so is by maintaining an understanding of how your actions  affect you. One common action of many of the elderly is taking medications. You should be aware that medications have changing effects with aging, and there are many different reasons for that fact.
First of all, changes in our physiology due to aging make the effects of drugs less predictable and consistent than in younger people. A slower metabolism, increases in body fat and alterations in the function of the kidney and liver (major mechanisms for drug elimination) have important ramifications for what ingested substances will do. Thus, the elderly require more stringent monitoring of drug levels and effects, and you may find that your physician needs to adjust medication doses. This same consideration explains why side effects are more common among the elderly.
Be reminded the presence of other diseases brings additional effects and challenges. Just as with one’s own relatively diminished function, disease imposes the same type of changes onto the body. This can speed the presence of side effects and toxicity as well as adjust the effective dose of a medication.
Have you ever seen the individual with a small ‘army’ of medications? Think about it. The more medications one takes, the more likely drug interactions will ensue and changes in effectiveness in any single medication may occur. This effect incrementally increases with each additional drug one takes. Similarly, the more medications one is taking, the most likely one is to make a mistake in taking the correct medication at the right time. Now consider your independently living parents or grandparents. The elderly often are more prone to make these types of errors.
What can you do about this? Get organized, and get help! Those daily medication containers are good solutions to incorrectly dosing medications. If you’re especially organized, a log is great—not necessarily for you, but for the physician that will be trying to figure out why you’re dizzy or have an altered mental status if and when that occurs.
Talk with each doctor you see or a pharmacist about what to expect from the combination of medications you take; it can make your lives a lot less complicated.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: "I've Fallen and Can't Get Up" – Quick Tips on Elderly Falls

fallen
Are all of you DIYers (do it yourself) ready for a weekend project to help a loved one? Here you go. First, let’s start with some not so fun facts.

  • Every year, one of every three adults older than 65 has a fall.
  • Falls are the #1 cause of injury death in senior citizens.
  • Falls are the #1 cause of nonfatal injuries and trauma hospitalizations.
  • Typical injuries include lacerations, hip fractures and head injuries (including intracranial bleeds). These injuries occur in approximately 20-30% of falls.

How can older adults prevent falls and the complications of falls? Here are six Quick Tips I hope you’ll share with your loved ones.

  • Start by doing some home improvements to accommodate the shortcomings of your elderly relatives. Consider railings and grab bars – near the bed, on the stairways, shower, tub and toilet. Improve lighting. Clear out and widen walking paths. Consider using a walker.
  • Exercise regularly. It keeps the brain sharp and the leg muscles strong. Inactivity promotes bad outcomes when activity is attempted. Have their doctors arrange for home health care and physical therapy if indicated.
  • Have your loved one and your family review medications with their physician. You need to know which medications and drug interactions can promote loss of balance, dizziness, drowsiness, and/or mental status changes, all of which can lead to falls.
  • Keep those eyes checked. This should be happening at least once a year. Be diligent in changing prescriptions as needed. Could you imagine being a little confused and not being able to see? What would you expect to happen?
  • Pay attention to diet. Nutritional needs are even greater in those with health issues, which is always the case in the elderly. Supplement Vitamin D and calcium for bone strength.
  • Of course, get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.

The key is to pay attention. You don’t have to let your loved ones wither into oblivion. Simple quick fixes and some love and attention can go a long way to preventing falls and the injuries that accompany them. My mother fell and suffered a massive intracranial bleed with herniation 2 years ago. I’m pleased to note that she’s made a full recovery, and these tips I’ve offered you make a world of difference. Good luck.