My mother takes three pills each morning. If it were up to her, she would stop them all. Last year when she broke her hip, I had a hard time getting her to take a Tylenol for her hip pain. Bottom line, she is not a big fan of taking a lot of medications and is worried about having a bad side effect.

We are living longer and as a result of our longer life expectancies we are being treated for more chronic diseases. The treatment of those chronic diseases results in being prescribed multiple medications. Many seniors take at least 6 to 8 medications per day; placing them at risk for adverse drug reactions such as falls, fractures, and confusion.

So, it is important to take the time to keep an accurate list of all prescribed and over-the-counter medications and take that list to all medical appointments. Make sure you understand the reason you are taking medications and for how long you will need to take them. Smart patients know what medications they are on and they take the time to ask their providers about what medications they may be able to discontinue.