Q. I work in dementia care. My co-workers and I are all alarmed about the medications given to elders. In care homes, we all know that when someone gets a new medication, a fall may not be far behind. We are used to elders arriving on 10 or even 20 different medications, none of which has been reviewed before. We’ve even seen someone arriving with three different depression meds, started at three different time periods, with none of them being discontinued. In the world of elder care, alas, we see disgraceful neglect in the world of medications. It would be a really good idea for a pharmacist to be required by law to review an elder’s meds.
A. We have long suspected that too many older people are overmedicated. Nursing-home residents and patients with Alzheimer’s disease are especially vulnerable. Thank you for sharing an insider’s perspective.
The more drugs senior citizens take, the more likely they will experience fatigue, forgetfulness, confusion, dizziness and falls. Family and friends should be vigilant and request a review of all medications on a regular basis.
Hand sanitizer for foot odor
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Q. I have had foot odor all my life. I have tried sprays, foot powder, soaps and Odor-Eaters. I’ve rotated my shoes every day and sprayed them with Lysol and Febreze. The only thing that helped at all was Dr. Oz’s suggestion to soak your feet in vinegar water every day, which was difficult to do faithfully. I usually have to throw shoes out after three months. Last year I tried hand sanitizer on my feet. I rubbed a small amount on them each day after bathing or showering, and the odor was gone. I guess that it kills the bacteria that cause the odor. I hope this helps others facing the same problem.
A. Perspiration feeds the bacteria that produce foot odor. Feet sweat a lot, and shoes often trap it and intensify the problem. In winter, when people wear waterproof boots that don’t breathe, the problem may become worse.
Thank you for an interesting suggestion. Using hand sanitizers probably discourages bacterial overgrowth. Many such products contain alcohol that kills germs that cause foot odor.
Handling of medications
Q. You wrote about medications being delivered to homes by various companies (UPS, FedEx, USPS) and made it sound as though if you don’t purchase it from your local pharmacy and bring it right home, there might be problems. How do you think the majority of medications are delivered to the pharmacy? It’s by UPS, FedEx and USPS! I doubt many pharmacies have their stock delivered by “temperature- or humidity-controlled vehicles” on a continual basis.
A. You are right that delivery vehicles pose a problem, whether to individuals or to pharmacies. The difference is that, once delivered to the pharmacy, the drug doesn’t sit in a frigid mailbox for hours. Instead, it goes onto shelves that are room temperature.
Joe and Teresa Graedon: www.peoplespharmacy.com