Saving on Healthcare – Excessive Medications

My great aunt Rosie was quite a character – she constantly barked at my Uncle Angelo about every little thing –

Photo: Another New Pill by Ninasaurusrex

recalling old stories where he messed up, something he left on the floor or something he forgot to do. It didn’t matter, Uncle Angelo caught the fury. Of course being old school Italian, what might be seen as “barking” by an outsider was just normal conversation for her!

Auntie Rosie was in a wheel chair for many years. not because she was paralyzed or because she had broken anything, she was simply out of shape, getting more out of shape each year and as a result, less mobile. Her lack of desire to be mobile increased her immobility until she couldn’t do much without the wheelchair.

As she grew more frail, my mom stepped in to help more – overseeing care, helping her with medications, making sure she had what she needed and visiting socially. Oh and note that Auntie Rosie lived alone in her house!

44 Medications!

One night while reviewing her medications, I counted that Auntie Rosie was taking 44 medications. “Wow!” I exclaimed (it was probably another word). I couldn’t believe it. We called her Nurse practitioner the next day and soon after a consultation, she eliminated 13 medications bringing Auntie Rosie down to 31. Many of these medications seemed redundant and a few she could ween off of so that’s what she did. And interestingly, perhaps she wasn’t the type but a few of those 44 medications were for symptoms she could correct by making more healthy choices and a few more were medications to treat the side effects of the other medications!

This is something to think about if co-pays are breaking yours or someone you care for’s budget.  Take a second look at medications and review them with your health care provider to see:

  • what you could ween off if you changed behavior?
  • what medicines could be weened off that are currently taken to offset side-effects of the above medicines?
  • what medicines can be swapped for generics?

Perhaps you could save some money by asking the questions above and consulting your medical professional. For some people, this could be major cost savings and in some cases, by changing behavior (exercise and dieting), there would be other benefits as well! Enhance your health and your bank account!

Drop a comment below if you have any interesting experiences in this area. I’d enjoy hearing about it. And remember, it’s all about attitude, not age!