What Are the Risks of Polypharmacy Among the Elderly?

Modern medicine has given us many drugs that can help manage health issues. However, using lots of them at once – termed polypharmacy – isn’t always a good thing. This is even more important for older people who take multiple medications. 

Our elderly population is growing and moving into senior living communities, which makes it vital to understand the dangers related to taking several medicines together. It’s not only up to healthcare workers, but also families and seniors need to be aware of these risks.

Increased Adverse Reactions

Older folks often have complicated health situations. This makes bad reactions to drugs a big worry, especially when they’re taking many at once. Different medicines can mess with each other in harmful ways. Imagine an older person on blood thinners who also takes another drug impacting bleeding – this could cause serious bleeding issues. 

Aging changes how our bodies break down and get rid of drugs, making seniors more prone to feeling their effects strongly. Pairing these age-related sensitivities with polypharmacy means the chance for negative drug reactions goes up even higher.

Cognitive Decline and Mental Health Concerns

Taking lots of medicines at once can mess with an elderly person’s head. Some types, like benzodiazepines, anticholinergics, or certain blood pressure drugs, can make them confused, dizzy, or even hallucinate when mixed together. 

This could be mistaken as a natural mental decline from aging or dementia-like symptoms. It’s also tough for many seniors to keep track of all these pills and times, which often leads to stress. They worry about taking too much medicine accidentally or forgetting a dose completely.

Physical Health Implications

Taking many medicines can hit elderly people’s health hard. A big worry is falling over, as some drugs make them dizzy or mess with their blood pressure and balance. This means they could break a bone, which might affect their long-term well-being and how well they live day-to-day. 

Some combinations of drugs can also hurt the kidneys, liver, or other organs specifically. An extra concern when aging already makes these organs work less efficiently. If this happens, it may cause drug build-up in their system, leading to toxic effects.

Economic and Healthcare System Strain

Taking many medicines at once can hit the pockets of older folks hard, as they have to buy a lot more drugs. The healthcare system feels it, too. Bad reactions or interactions with these meds often mean longer hospital stays and regular doctor visits, all of which push up health costs. 

It’s also tricky to manage so much medication use. Everyone from your local pharmacist to your family doctor has their own part in making sure everything goes smoothly.


To sum it up, while medicines help control health issues and make life better, we need to be careful when older people are taking many at once. Checking their medicines often, teaching them about the risks involved with what they’re taking, keeping everyone in the loop, and talking openly can all help manage these polypharmacy dangers.

3 Signs That You Could Pursue a Medical Malpractice Suit and Win

Healthcare is a complicated system with many different moving parts. Unfortunately, this means that there is always the potential for something to go wrong. Medical malpractice can be defined as any action – or lack of action – on the part of a medical professional that results in injury to a patient.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be wondering if you have a case. Here are 3 signs that you should pursue a medical malpractice suit.

A Different Second Opinion 

One of the most common signs that something may have gone wrong is when you seek a second opinion and receive a completely different diagnosis than what you were originally given. This can be a sign that the first doctor misdiagnosed the condition. 

This is especially true if the second diagnosis makes more sense to you. For instance, let’s say you have a grandparent who has started to forget things more and more. If a first doctor diagnoses your grandparent with joint pain but a second doctor diagnoses them with debilitating dementia that will necessitate putting them in a memory care home, the second opinion is more likely to be correct.

Thus, a claim brought against the first doctor for failing to properly investigate the cause of your grandparent’s forgetfulness could succeed.

Error During Surgery 

If you have been injured during surgery due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may have a case for medical malpractice. 

For instance, if you go in for surgery and the surgeon leaves a sponge or other item inside of you, causing you to develop signs and symptoms and injuries different from your original medical issue, you will likely have a case. 

This is because it is the responsibility of the surgeon to make sure that all items are accounted for before stitching you up. 

So, to win a negligence claim like this, you will need to show that the surgeon owed you a duty of care, that duty was breached, and you were injured as a direct result. 

Lack of Informed Consent 

Informed consent is when a patient is made aware of all potential risks, benefits, and alternatives to a proposed treatment and still agrees to go ahead with it. 

If a doctor does not obtain informed consent before performing a procedure, they may be guilty of medical malpractice. 

For instance, if you go in for routine surgery and the surgeon tells you that there are potential risks but fails to mention that one of those risks is death, they have not obtained proper informed consent. If you die as a result of the surgery, you may have a case for medical malpractice. 

To win a case for lack of informed consent, you will need to show that:

  • The doctor did not obtain your informed consent before performing the procedure. 
  • You would not have consented to the procedure if you had been made aware of all potential risks. 
  • You were injured as a direct result of the procedure.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Contact an experienced attorney today to discuss your case and find out what your legal options are.