US Navy [Public Domain]At Stillman and Friedland we work hard so our clients get the financial compensation they deserve. But in the aftermath of injury, accident victims need to take charge of their physical and emotional recovery. When you are over 65, there are further complicating factors that determine how well you will recover. In this post, we will point out the two major pitfalls in the recovery process, and how you can steer clear of these setbacks.
Problem #1: Polypharmy is a Senior Problem
Polypharmy is a fancy way of saying that you are taking 10 or more prescription drugs. A doctor we know recently told us that he works to reduce the amount of prescriptions patients are taking. In his experience, reducing the drug load usually leaves patients feeling better!
There are several reasons why less really is more:
• Lack of coordination among specialist prescribers can result in conflicting drugs that have harmful cross-reactions.
• Drug testing is mostly based on a population cohort that does not represent the average patient using the drug. An example would be testing blood pressure medications on under-60 males only, when the average target would be males and females in their 70s. This is a major issue for women, as even lab rats used in testing are overwhelmingly male.
• Multiplying drugs means multiplying side effects, and the tendency is to keep adding more drugs to treat the side effects. Remember that when you are older you clear meds at a lower rate, meaning it is easier to overdose. The more meds you have to manage, the more likely you are to make errors in dosage. And frankly, facing a row of pills every morning will not make you feel like a well person. Add in the costs, and it can be downright depressing.
If you are taking a host of medications, you need a single “referee” doctor who will review your drugs and dosages. Start by doing your homework and use an online checker to see if you have conflicting items on your list. Ask your PCP if you can reduce the load of medications.
Problem #2: Inadequate Nutrition
We have written extensively in this blog about the need for good nutrition in the healing process and for maintaining your health after recovery.
Here are a few tips especially for seniors:
• Have your PCP check basic values for vital minerals and vitamins B12 and D. Whenever possible, get nutrients from food, not vitamin pills. Compare mineral content on bottled waters, and choose one with high magnesium for a bone boost.
• Remember that you need to eat healthy fats to absorb calcium and preserve brain function, and to get vitamins A and D.
• Many seniors eat less, so make sure that what you eat counts! Sugar depletes B vitamins, so reduce or avoid it. Keeping carbs low can eliminate Type 2 diabetes symptoms entirely.
• If you have reflux issues, adding apple cider vinegar to your diet will solve your indigestion back-up issues by moving digestion along. Avoid using antacids—they temporarily relieve esophageal acidity but delay the release of stomach contents into the small intestine, leaving you still stacked up. Keep your carbs low, or at least avoid them from around 4 p.m.
• Add pre-and pro-biotics to maintain good gut health so you maximize vitamin and mineral absorption. Your digestion will improve and so will your mood.
Looking out for your best health,
Because we care…