Getting to a ripe old age may mean you have good genes and luck on your side, along with a healthy lifestyle. But as people accumulate birthdays, the medical system may undermine their vitality and independence.

Ageism in health care may mean that older people are pigeonholed and not offered care that is best for them. Many medications that are safe for younger adults can be dangerous for an older person. How can you protect your parents (or yourself) from prescriptions that cause problems?

Guest: Mark S. Lachs, MD, M.P.H. is Professor of Medicine and Co-Chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He is also director of Cornell’s Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care and Director of Geriatrics for the New York-Presbyterian Health System. He is the author of Treat Me , Not My Age: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting the Best Care as You or a Loved One Gets Older.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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  1. RW

    I listened to the podcast (#811) today and found it very helpful. I have a group of high school friends (class of ’67) that I regularly correspond with and this program will be on the ‘must listen to’ list! We are working fulfilling jobs and don’t intend to retire for a few more years. I will also recommend the book. Thank you for such a valuable program!

  2. Gin

    I don’t normally get to listen to your radio shows however April 30th I happened to be traveling by car and happened on to a NPR station that was carrying this particular show. I really enjoyed it and Dr Lachs is a man after my own heart with his beliefs about getting older, drugs, when it’s appropriate to use powerful drugs and when it isn’t. Too bad not many young doctors are choosing geriatrics as our population ages we certain will need more doctors like Dr Lachs. It’s great that he is in a position to influence the thinking and training of young doctors such as himself.
    Just a note to A.L. the previous poster – the synopsis of the show was appropriate and makes perfect sense. I would suggest going back and reading it again, or better yet listen to the podcast.
    Thank you for being there for all of us. I find People’s Pharmacy to be a wonderful tool in our arsenal to help improve our health.

  3. JC

    I think it’s divine intervention to catch your show right before heading off to see my elderly father. I have been his healthcare advocate for years (to the best of my ability) and go in the exam room with him when possible. However, I’ve needed more ammo to convince his primary care physician to take him off of statins for cholesterol.
    I can see it is harming the muscle strength in his legs and his quality of life is going with it. He has never had high cholesterol but she prescribed it to balance the good and the bad cholesterol and prevent the possibility of a stroke. On paper she has accomplished the goal of balancing his cholesterol, but She has been resistant to a holiday from this med even on a temporary basis.

  4. PS

    Great informative program today! I am my parents’ advocate when it has come to their physical needs and “discussion” with healthcare professionals. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have someone be there for you to oversee your care while in the hospital, rehab center, fullcare, doctor appts. or memory unit. When we go for any of their dr. appts there isn’t a question if I’m allowed into the examining/ER room, I WILL be going in with them.
    I really realize the need for more doctors to specialize in your field. The problem is only going to increase.
    Thank you for such a good program and please have more topics in future programs.

  5. A. L.

    I think this is mainly an advertisement and should not appear here unless you can print a bit more helpful information. After all, isn’t this the purpose of your site?!!
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Dear A. L. Sorry this is confusing to you. This announcement is to let you and visitors to our website know what the topic of our live one-hour radio show will be on Saturday mornings.
    This Saturday (please note the date under the show # 811 Healthy Aging) is April 30. We do this so that people can tune in to a show they might be especially interested in.
    The show will post on the website Monday morning (May 2nd). Anyone who wants to listen (for free) can do so by clicking on the arrow on Monday for streaming audio. Anyone who would like to sign up for a free podcast of the show can also do so by going to the website ( and looking in the upper right hand corner of the home page for the icon and words FREE PODCAST.
    We hope this clarifies what may have been confusing. We think of this as alerting people to an upcoming radio show topic rather than “advertising,” since there is no cost to listen.

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