Over Medication A Serious Issue For Elderly—Study

An estimated 36% of older adults consume at least five different prescriptions on a daily basis. It has been suggested that the mixture of such medications can sometimes have adverse effects on the patients.

A retired banker named Bruce Hall of age 81 was found attempting to vault from a bridge. When asked the reason for his suicidal attempt he replied that the desire of ending sufferings was beyond control. Bruce had stroke attack and subsequently brain surgery was performed on him. Antibiotics that were given after the surgery turned himpsychotic. The situation became at such a level that Bruce attempted suicide not once but twice, with interval of just a few months.

Ellen Hall, wife of Brue Hall recalled that after being admitted to the nursing care, Bruce seemed more dead than alive, deprived of the most basic functions like walking, reading speaking or writing. He seemed to have lost his real sense of emotions.

Initiatives are being taken to reduce the dose of medication for the elderlies, one such person who have made significant contributions for the cause is Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk, from Burlingame, California, whose primary roles are to evaluate medications that adults are prescribed. Dr. Elizabeth also happens to be the primary care doctor of Bruce.

As suggested by Dr. Elizabeth, the significant reason these medications pileup because doctors don’t regulate or check and override medications prescribed by some other doctor.

The direct outcome of these results in to more agitated elders. Agitated elders may be the ones who are wrongly medicated.

Generally, medications like Ativan and Xanax or Sleeping pills are the root cause for agitations. Anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax are particularly dangerous because of its short acting nature.

Elders gets hooked to these medications and develop agitations and often more medications are prescribed to suppress the symptoms of agitations and fidgety. This results in a self-sustaining cycle which cannot be dissolved so easily.

Even though Landsverk oppose the effects of over medication, she still maintains the vitality of having medicine at the first place.

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