It has been quite a long time since I have posted to this blog. It's
difficult to believe that my mother passed away almost thirteen years
ago. The cause of her death was, quite simply this: all of the
medications she was prescribed accumulated in her body because she was
dehydrated. Then her kidneys malfunctioned. As a result, she became toxic. Put another way, she was poisoned and died.
During the course of my research to find out what had caused her death, I became very familiar with the work of Dr. Mark Beers. At the time, Dr. Beers was the editor of the Merck Manual and the Merck Geriatric Manual. We had a good email correspondence relationship and he encouraged me in my work. Essential to my research was an understanding of which drugs were dangerous for the elderly. Dr. Beers was the primary researcher for the "Beers Criteria." This was a list of drugs dangerous to the elderly published in 1991.
The Beers criteria was updated in 2003 and again in 2012. You may read the Journal of American Geriatric Society article containing the 2012 Beers Criteria here: Download 2012BeersCriteria_JAGS
You will find this article and the useful chart containing the Beers Criteria very helpful when providing care to the elderly. For more information about how psychotropic medications are often inappropriately prescribed for the elderly, see this blog article below, written by Stan Berg. Mr. Berg maintains a blog in honor and memory of his wife, June K. Berg, and his mother. Ellen F. Silbaugh, both victims of Alzheimer's. June died 23 October 2008. Stan's mother Ellen died 21 October 2007. The Dr. "Beers Criteria": Dangerous Drugs for the Elderly! This blog contains a wealth of helpful information for caregivers.