is she over medicated?

My mom is not herself, but who could be when taking 19 different medications a day for various conditions? Is she over-medicated? Probably, but her doctor has prescribed and is very aware of every pill she takes. Which pill or pills would mom want to give up, as she has been reassured that each is necessary in itself? Her doctor seems to become indignant when she questions him about this.

A friend in the retirement home she lives in was talkative and vivacious. In the last few weeks this woman has become withdrawn and shaky. She had complained of headaches and is now taking medication to alleviate the pain, but at what price? Where is the Nancy we knew?

Drugs do save lives, treat symptoms and alleviate pain but how does one deal with the psychological side effects? According to Health Watchers’ News and Views in a November 2010 article, “Experts estimate that up to one-third of the elderly in our communities may be over-medicated and some 20% of their hospital admissions are due to adverse drug events. The costs related to over-medication in the elderly are thought to exceed $80 billion each year.”

Help me help my mom. What has been your experience with over medication in a loved one and how have you approached/confronted her primary physician? I could use some guidance as I tackle this seemingly delicate, but also crucial and common situation. Written by girlfriend in Iowa, Susan


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