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Senior Health

Elderly mother taking twelve meds

06/01/2007

Question:

I am concerned for the well being of my mother who is 83. She is taking twelve meds and having bowel problems and a gurgling stomach. She doesn`t feel well on these meds. Her doctor, family practioner, insists on continuing them. I am considering taking my mother to a geriatric specialist to hopefully get some relief for my mother. She has Alzheimer`s and it is also difficult for my dad to remember to give her all these meds. Any suggetions?

Answer:

It is not unusual for some older people to be on many medications. However, if you have discussed the medications and your mother's condition with her primary physician and remain concerned, a second opinion is available. A geriatrician specializing in care of older adults would be an appropriate choice.

Also, it appears from your comments that your dad may need some assistance with your mother's medication regimen. Discuss this situation with the geriatrician as well. Sometimes older adults may need additional assistance when care needs are complex; the physician and nursing staff can recommend ways to meet these needs.

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Response by:

Evelyn L Fitzwater, DSN, RN Evelyn L Fitzwater, DSN, RN
Associate Professor Emerita
Associate Director of the
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati