Could a drug you’re taking for a chronic health condition actually make another of
your chronic conditions worse? Quite possibly, according to a first-of-its-kind study by
researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and
Oregon State University. They found that nearly
23 percent of Medicare patients with multiple
chronic conditions were taking at least one
prescription medication that could adversely
affect a coexisting condition. Example: Suppose that you’re one of approximately 3. 8 million older Americans being treated for both high
blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. If you’re taking a beta-blocker for
your hypertension, it could exacerbate your
COPD. And if you’re taking a beta-agonist to
help you breathe, it could worsen your hypertension. “There’s no one keeping track of the
overall picture,” says Leigh Purvis of the AARP
Public Policy Institute. Nearly 3 in 4 older
Americans have two or more chronic health
conditions, which often are diagnosed and treated by different doctors. Those doctors need to weigh the effects of a medication on each
of a patient’s conditions, not just the condition for which it is being prescribed, says Mary
E. Tinetti, a geriatrician at the Yale School of Medicine who led the study team. —Bill Hogan
59 of adults 65+ used the Internet in 2013, an increase of 6 percentage points since 2012.
In the News
Drugs That Can Do
More Harm Than Good The Poll
Boomers and Vacation
Survey of 1,401 adults born 1946 to 1964 by
AARP research, conducted March 5-30, 2014.
vacations will you
take this year?
Planning the end of your life can now be handled online. Tech startups are popping up and aiming to take some of the sting
out of death. Where to start? Everplans,
which draws more than 60,000 visitors
monthly, ofers guides, articles and a blog on
everything from wills to talking with your parents about their final wishes, as well as a free
online planning tool that helps people organize
And now a $35-a-year
premium service provides
secure online storage of
documents and more.
Sites like Everplans
can help kick-start con-
versations about the is-
sues that surface when
a loved one dies, says Sally Hurme, an el-
der-law attorney at AARP and author of
Checklist for Family Survivors. Want to
get medical and financial affairs in order?
MyDirectives and BestEndings can help.
ImSorry ToHear and eFuneral offer funeral home reviews, while Funeral Fund and
YouCaring want to help you raise money to
cover expenses for a loved one’s final tribute.
“There are places to
help you plan for happy
moments” like weddings,
says Everplans cofounder Abby Schneiderman.
“But what about less
happy moments like
death?” Now you know.
—Barbranda Lumpkins Walls
Online Help to Plan Your Exit Strategy
3 or more
Who is going?
Other fam-ily/friends 28%
What is your
Visit place I
want to see
Where are you
going this year?