Getting sick requires a university degree in reading labels and deciphering prescriptions. For those of us not genetically blessed to reach our 90's running marathons, swimming 5 miles a day, or biking across the country, the increasing decrease of our bodies plus a variety of germs and viruses equals pills. Pills, pills, and more pills.
I'm not a great fan of running to the doctor so over the past decade I've added a variety of supplements to my morning regimen. Vitamin C. Fish Oil. MSM. Calcium for my aging bones. A few more recommended by medical professionals and friends have joined those. I confess that I consume a small fistful every morning.
Note that I said "every morning." Once a day in the A of M. Easy to figure out, right? Pharmaceutical companies don't recognize the structure that brings to pill consumption. They've created once a day pills. Three times a day pills. Four times a day pills. Pills to be consumed before meals, with meals, or at least an hour before OR after meals. Pills where you must not consume alcohol, or dairy products. Pills with a full page of warnings and restrictions. And pills that come with their own complicated schedule that changes daily: Day One take 2 before breakfast, one at lunch, one at dinner, 2 at bedtime - Day Two take one before breakfast, one at lunch, one at dinner, 2 at bedtime - Day Three take one before break fast (but don't do what you did the day before!), etc.
Due to some health issues a recent trip to my physician resulted in me listening to him describe what pills I was to be prescribed and when and how to take them. When my eyes started rolling around in my head and I gasped out a request for clarification ("I take these two days, then stop them and take those others for a week, then start back on the first ones but only…") my doctor reconsidered and simplified the orders. Even simplified I'm not sure my college education prepared me for getting through the next week without error.
The medication dilemma is bad enough for the mature, presumably mentally alert adult. It is frightening to consider what some aging patients face. More physical problems. More than one doctor. Likely less communication between those medical professionals. Possibly less ability to understand the varied consumption of, and interactions between, the medications they take. If old age doesn't get them the complications of trying to cope with it may.