Medication Feed

When it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), the sad reality is that there is no cure. But a significant number of people have an increased risk due to genetics, and everyone has an increased risk as they age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of the more than five million Americans with Alzheimer’s, approximately 200,000 individuals develop the disease before age 65 (younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease or YOAD). Additionally, barring a cure or some type of prevention, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds. Read more →


Eight out of 10 older adults take at least one medication and many take three or more daily. Older adults comprise 13 percent of the population but account for 34 percent of all prescription medicine use and 30 percent of all over-the-counter medicine use. Also, older adults often use multiple medicines (averaging 14 prescriptions each), increasing the risk of drug interactions, mix-ups, and the potential for harmful side effects. Source: National Council on Patient Information and Education Read more →


Dear Carol: I read your column about a woman whose friend was getting lost when driving and she wondered about confronting her friend about possible dementia. I beg everyone that if people suspect that their older friends or family members are slipping mentally they pull their keys before something bad happens. I say this as the victim of a very old woman who should never have been driving. I was riding my bicycle in the bike lane when she hit me and dragged me half a block. She was driving a huge, old vehicle and didn’t even know I was there. I will forever live with the physical pain and limitations that remain even after repeated surgeries for the injuries I sustained. Old drivers need to be pulled off the road. – SM Read more →


Many people have heard of hospice care but they mistakenly think that it’s just a way to help cancer patients be more comfortable at the end of their lives. Fewer people have heard of palliative care, and they may have no idea what it is. The truth is that hospice and palliative care are related but used for different reasons at different times, and everyone should be well-versed in what they offer. Here, we’ll clarify some points of confusion. Read more →


Eldercare Lessons from the Land of the Incas:  Eldercare in America is expensive, with Alzheimer’s topping the charts. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than half of Alzheimer’s caregivers are cutting back on everyday necessities in order to cover the cost of Alzheimer’s care. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website carried an article published in the Health Tidbits section of the Journal of the National Medical Association that says: “Patients in most nursing homes are not receiving proper care due to a shortage of workers.” This is not to say that many U.S. nursing homes aren’t superb, but it is true that care is extremely expensive and in far too many cases, less than optimum in quality. Read more →


I’ve lived with chronic migraines since I was 15, due to a P.E. class injury. I know what it is to quickly excuse myself to run to the bathroom and vomit, then return and try to look as though nothing is wrong. I know what it is to reek of different rubs — some herbal, some commercial — in order to function. I know what it is to tell my mother that I was fine even though she could see that my eyes were barely focusing. Even then, most of the time, I did carry on. Read more →


Dear Carol: A friend of mine lives alone in an apartment. She’s 73 and has an active life. Recently, though, she has gotten lost when driving a couple of our mutual friends to familiar places. She's also been forgetting our regular get-togethers. Several of us have noticed that she repeats herself often. We’ve talked with her extended family but they say that she’s just getting older and aren’t interested in more involvement. Should I approach her in a non-threatening way to talk about changes we all experience as we age while I call attention to my own struggles? Maybe I can determine if she's self-aware or in denial. Should I contact her family again? Should I just stay out of it? GT Read more →


As they age, millions of Americans develop health conditions, including chronic pain. For an expert’s view on prevention and treatment, HealthCentral interviewed Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., via email. Dr. Thorpe is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Health Policy at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He is also the chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, an organization that has made several public-policy recommendations to address chronic disease, encouraging ways to improve patient access to care and invest in medical innovation. Read on to become part of the conversation. Read more →


Studies have long tied oral bacteria to heart disease and infection in joint replacements. Now, they are looking at oral bacteria as one possible trigger for the type of Alzheimer’s disease that strikes people over 65. While we all have these bacteria, and there is a threat of the bacteria entering our bloodstream, the further threat is that some of these bacteria may get through the blood-brain barrier causing inflammation in the brain. Many researchers consider inflammation in the brain to be one of several triggers that may cause Alzheimer’s. Read more →


Dear Carol: My dad has been in the hospital for open-heart surgery. He's now being discharged and will come home with me until he recovers enough to go back to his home where he lives alone. Long-term, his heart problem should be taken care of, and other than that he’s healthy for his age. What I’m worried about is the discharge process and taking care of him after he comes home. People aren't kept in the hospital very long now so families often have more caregiving to provide than in the past. What questions do I ask when Dad's discharged? How do I make certain that I don’t forget to ask something important? – HF Read more →