Aging Gracefully: Reducing the Risks of Polypharmacy

Posted on

Oct 06, 2017

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It is no secret that we are living longer. Unfortunately, we are not necessarily living healthier.
An ever-growing percentage of the population is managing one or more medical conditions, which are managed by one or more medicines.

While medicines can help maintain health and prevent further illness, taking combinations of drugs means that you could be at risk for drug interactions. Polypharmacy is defined as the concurrent use of many different medicines by the same person, and presents a growing risk among seniors in the US. This can result in a gradual accumulation of side effects. Problems may be increased by taking:

Dosages that are too high
Medicines that are incorrectly prescribed or filled
Medicines that interact with or duplicate the actions of other medicines
Herbal supplements that interact with prescription medicines

Polypharmacy can result in adverse drug events, complicating therapy, increasing cost, and presenting a challenge for healthcare agencies. Unfortunately, the symptoms caused by polypharmacy can be confused with the normal aging process.

The good news is there are things you can do to help reduce your risk of polypharmacy.

Make a list of every medicine you are taking, including supplements, vitamins, and over-the-counter drugs.
Carry your medicine list with you everywhere. Bring it and your pill bottles along when you see the doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to check your list for possible interactions.
If you have more than one doctor, make sure each one knows what the other is prescribing.
Ask your primary doctor if you need to take all the medicines on the list, or if you can reduce the dosages.
Always read labels. They may help you avoid a possible drug interaction.
Always get your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy.
Learn the names of your medicines and why you take them.
Avoid combination products like cold remedies. Ask for help buying only the specific medicine that treats the symptoms you are experiencing.
Never take a new drug without discussing side effects and interactions with your doctor, pharmacist, or both.

Editors Note:This article was written by Peterson E with PowerBack Rehabilitation. For more information please call 888-982-2000.

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Fun, Easy activities for Seniors in Colorado

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Social and Recreational ActivitiesSenior CentersSenior centers across Colorado offer a wide range of activities, including games, social events, and educational classes. The Fort Collins Senior Center, for instance, provides everything from art workshops to dance classes, ensuring a lively and engaging environment for seniors.Discover more at the Fort Collins Senior Center website.Volunteering OpportunitiesMany seniors find fulfillment in volunteering, and Colorado has numerous opportunities for those who wish to give back to the community. Organizations like Volunteers of America Colorado and the Denver Botanic Gardens welcome senior volunteers in various capacities.Find volunteering opportunities at Volunteers of America Colorado and Denver Botanic Gardens websites.5. Travel and ExplorationScenic Train RidesFor seniors who prefer a more relaxed way to enjoy Colorados scenery, scenic train rides offer a fantastic option. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and the Georgetown Loop Railroad provide unforgettable journeys through the states picturesque landscapes.Book your ride at Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Georgetown Loop Railroad websites. Hot SpringsColorados hot springs are perfect for seniors seeking relaxation and therapeutic benefits. Locations like Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs offer serene environments where seniors can unwind and rejuvenate.Plan your visit to Glenwood Hot Springs and Mount Princeton Hot Springs websites.6. Educational ProgramsLifelong LearningSeniors in Colorado have access to numerous lifelong learning opportunities. Universities like Colorado State University and the University of Colorado offer programs and courses specifically designed for older adults, covering a wide range of subjects from history to technology.Explore lifelong learning at Colorado State University and University of Colorado Boulder.LibrariesLibraries in Colorado provide more than just books; they offer various programs and workshops for seniors. The Denver Public Library, for example, hosts book clubs, technology classes, and cultural events tailored to older adults.Visit the Denver Public Library for more information.ConclusionColorados diverse array of activities ensures that seniors can find something to suit their interests and abilities. Whether its exploring the great outdoors, engaging in cultural pursuits, participating in fitness programs, or continuing education, the state offers countless opportunities for seniors to lead an active, fulfilling life. 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