Help With Medication Management

My mother is in a convalescent home and is being given around 23 different medications.  She is having various reactions to some of these medications.  Is there any type of doctor that helps with "medication management"?  My mother needs someone who can sort out what medications are causing some of the bad side affects she is experiencing.  How do I find out who can do this for her? Most of her doctors do not seem to have the time to do this, or just keep trying one medication after another, many with less than desirable results, and basically have given up trying to help her.

Barbara in Delaware, 61

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for your question.  Believe it or not, what you’re going through with your mother is very common.  I’m not a medical doctor, and my experience has been that when there are issues surrounding medication, it’s vital for you to consult with a medical doctor who is also a gerontologist.    Gerontologists have a better understanding of the effects and side effects of medication on an elderly population.  They also know when medications are contra-indicated, and can tell you if your mother should or should not be taking various vitamins and over-the-counter items.

Before you contact a gerontologist, be sure to list out all of your mother’s medications and make sure each one of her doctors gets that list.  I even take the list to the local pharmacist since he or she is often aware of any problems that can arise from that many different medications.  It’s also smart to contact a nutritionist who is an expert at dealing with the elderly.  The gerontologist and nutritionist can then work together on a plan that is height, weight, and age appropriate for your mother.

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