Senior adults aged 65 and older typically take more medications than other age groups. The use of multiple medications, also called polypharmacy, can be attributed to changes in mental status and other symptoms of illness. Individuals and family members may overlook or dismiss changes in mental status as simply a result of advancing age when it is actually related to the use of multiple medications, drug-to-drug interactions or drug toxicity.
It is important to visit a physician regularly and review all of your medications. This list should include:
- prescription medications
- over-the-counter medications
- herbal supplements
- topical treatments
- eye and ear treatments
It is also important to review your diet and eating habits as these can also interfere with particular medications.
An aging specialist can work in consultation with your physician to perform an aging assessment and help differentiate between the normal symptoms of aging and an actual disease process. A geriatrician has an understanding of factors that can produce altered presentations of illness in senior adults.
The following health problems are often associated with aging issues but are not inherent with aging:
- change in mental status
- decreased appetite
- loss of function
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A geriatrician can be an important member of your healthcare team. Dr. Azita Chehresa is a geriatrician who works in consultation with your primary care physician. For further information or to arrange for a geriatric assessment, please contact Touchpoint Healthy Aging Transition Services, also known as the Touchpoint HATS Clinic, at 317-621-4657 or http://www.ecommunity.com/touchpoint/index.aspx?pg=11204.
A senior care manager is another valuable resource to help family members and long-distance caregivers navigate the many aspects of caring for an aging adult. Senior Care Management Services are available through Touchpoint services, a division of Community Home Health Services. Please call 317-621-4664 or toll-free at 877-621-4660 or visit our website at eCommunity.com/seniorcare.