Updated Publication Highlights Medicare Part D

The MetLife Mature Market Institute has updated its Since You Care publication, Medications and the Older Adult. The popular guide, available free to the public, now contains a section on Medicare Part D, "helpful hints" and a number of updated resources.

The Since You Care guides, produced in cooperation with the National Alliance for Caregiving, are designed to provide caregivers with information, practical suggestions and useful tools on a variety of care-related subjects.

Medications and the Older Adult contains information to help caregivers understand the benefits and risks of taking a number of over-the-counter, herbal, and prescription medications to manage chronic conditions in the older population. It also offers cost-saving advice and a list of resources for older adults and those who care for them. The guide, which draws on the experience of MetLife’s Nurse Care Managers, includes a medication record chart and a pillbox set-up chart to help older adults and their caregivers keep track of multiple medications.

"Twenty-five percent of all admissions to hospitals and nursing homes are related to adverse reactions to medications experienced by older adults," said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director, MetLife Mature Market Institute. "Older adults consume more than one third of all prescription drugs.

"Since older people may often have more than one physician, it’s important for the primary care physician to coordinate a medication regimen. The physician or a pharmacist can then also help monitor for side effects or interactions," Timmermann added.

The guide provides tips, including the following:

  • Adhere to instructions regarding dosage and time at which medication should be taken.
  • Ask how long medication should be taken.
  • Ask about potential side effects and allergic reactions.
  • Ask about food/drink interactions.
  • Make certain providers of online prescription purchases are legitimate.
  • Ask the pharmacist for easy-open bottles, but keep them out of the reach of children.
  • Use reminders like a pillbox, paging system or chart to track when medications are taken.
  • Ask about senior discounts and whether or not a generic substitute may be used for a brand name drug.

Older adults are also advised to seek out the many cost-saving options available to them like senior discounts, discount cards, large quantity prescriptions, mail order and programs available from organizations related to diseases like Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis or Alzheimer’s.

The MetLife Mature Market Institute is MetLife’s information and policy resource center on issues related to aging, retirement, long-term care and the mature market. Staffed by gerontologists, the Institute provides research, training and education, consultation and information to support MetLife, its corporate customers and business partners. MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the U.S. and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions.

MetLife Nurse Care Managers are available to MetLife’s long-term care customers and their caregivers, on a daily basis, to help identify and resolve care-giving questions and concerns through counseling and referral.

Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving is a nonprofit coalition of national organizations that focuses on issues of family caregiving across the life span. The Alliance was created to conduct research, do policy analysis, develop national programs and increase public awareness of family caregiving issues. Recognizing that family caregivers make important societal and financial contributions toward maintaining the well being of those for whom they care, the Alliance’s mission is to be the objective national resource on family caregiving with the goal of improving the quality of life for families and care recipients.

For a free copy of the Since You Care Guide: Medications and the Older Adult, call 203-221-6580,, or download the guide from You may also write to the MetLife Mature Market Institute, 57 Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880.

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Christine Bonney