Why Are You So Surprised?
- Polypharmacy is bad, especially in the elderly.
- Try to limit the number of drugs your elderly patients take.
- The elderly take too many pills.
So my lovely little sharp-as-a-tack 85-year-old lady is only taking three pills -- a BP pill and a pinch each of a diuretic and a thyroid pill. Everything is fine. She's happy. I'm happy. Presumably the writers of guidelines regarding polypharmacy in the elderly are happy.
So what happens?
She gets a call from her insurance company (I won't say which one, but it's named for a color and a shape) offering her their health counseling services. She's not quite sure what they're talking about, but she agrees; and another nice woman comes on the line.
She asks for the patient's street address; the patient gives it.
Then her birth date; she complies.
What medicines does she take? She names them.
Is that all? Yes.
Is she sure? Yes.
You don't sound like an 85-year-old lady.After deciding they really didn't have anything of use to offer her, the patient had a great laugh over it, while I was left wondering what the hell an 85-year-old is *supposed* to sound like.
I also wish this particular, nameless insurance company would stick to doing what it's supposed to be doing (pay for health care) even though it doesn't do it very well, instead of trying to justify its bloated premiums by offering all kinds of other -- mostly useless -- services.