One Way Our Hospitals Fail The Elderly

A colleague of mine received a call from a  distressed lady a few days ago. She was ringing on behalf of her 105-year-old mum who had been admitted to hospital. (I’d advise all 105-year-olds to stay well away from hospitals!). While there they had decided to give her anti-psychotic medication…& since that point her mental health has greatly deteriorated. She now can’t sleep due to hallucinations, she is seeing objects & animals that aren’t there & holding conversations with invisible, long-dead acquaintances. Often these hallucinations are very frightening for her.

Now I can understand the prescribing doctor’s thought process (using the ‘medicine-by-flowchart’ techniques laid down by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence!)).

Step 1 – Adult has this symptom picture, for which NICE recommends anti-psychotic drug A.

Step 2 – Prescribe the drug & then congratulate yourself on another job well done.

Now I’m not a doctor, I haven’t spent 7 years in medical school…but I DO know that as we age our organs work less efficiently. By age 70, most of us will have kidneys that only work 20% as well as they did in our youth… I imagine by 105 this figure would have dropped even lower. Anyone who has ever seen a case of a bad kidney infection will know that when the kidneys become less able to carry out their vital work of filtering waste products from the blood, all hell breaks loose! People often hallucinate due to the unfiltered toxins still continuing to travel around the blood stream. I think it is reckless to give a very elderly person powerful anti-psychotic medication for this very reason.

The poor lady has been prescribed some homeopathic remedies, including very gentle remedies to support her kidney & liver function. Hopefully she’ll get rid of the toxic anti-psychotics floating around her system & will be on-the-mend very soon.

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