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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

Shedding Light on Medication: Empowering Aging Well with Dr. Donna Bartlett

Updated: May 26

Natalie Elliott Handy confessions of a reluctant caregiver

Shedding Light on Medication: Empowering Aging Well with Dr. Donna Bartlett, Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist

Have you considered the profound impact that medication can have on our well-being as we age? Over one-third of older adults take five or more medications, and at least one of them may be completely unnecessary. As a result, approximately 2 million adverse drug events requiring hospitalization occur every year.

My guest today is Dr. Donna Bartlett, a board-certified geriatric pharmacist with over 17 years of clinical experience and 20 years in the retail pharmacy sector, she has made it her life's mission to tackle this issue. She is the author of Med Strong: Shed Your Meds for a Better, Healthier You - Aging Well with Less Prescribing. She is also a professor of pharmacy practice at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University. In addition, she co-hosts a podcast called "The Med List," extending her expertise to a multitude of critical areas, including polypharmacy, medication access, and fall prevention.

Today, we'll talk about the essential reasons why deprescribing is vital for both older adults and their caregivers, the complex factors contributing to medication overprescription, the practical ways we can become advocates for appropriate medication management, and we'll discover the medication optimization plan. We'll learn how we can ask important questions and work effectively with our healthcare providers. This conversation will give us a glimpse into medication management and empower you to make informed healthcare decisions.

I've loved getting to know you, Donna, and I'm so grateful for your work and how you support others. Looking forward to cheering you on in all you do!

Listen to our episode HERE.

Donna shares about:

  • The profound impact of medication on the well-being of older adults, including the risks of polypharmacy and unnecessary prescriptions.

  • Her background and mission in tackling medication overprescription and optimizing medication regimens for aging populations.

  • The significance of deprescribing for enhancing the health of older adults and supporting caregivers in managing medication effectively.

  • Strategies for advocating appropriate medication management, including how to engage with healthcare providers and ask critical questions about medication use.

  • An overview of medication optimization plans to empower individuals to make informed healthcare decisions and improve their quality of life.

About Donna Bartlett


Dr. Donna Bartlett is a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist licensed in Massachusetts. Currently, Dr. Bartlett is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University, and oversees an internal medicine clinical site at HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, MA. Dr. Bartlett has over 17 years’ experience as a clinical pharmacist and over 20 years of retail experience. Education expertise and areas of interest includes polypharmacy, deprescribing, geriatrics, medication access and affordability, and falls prevention. Dr. Bartlett cohosts the podcast The Med List  and hosts her own website dedicated to deprescribing WISE & WELL Dr. Donna Bartlett . She presented at the first International Deprescribing Conference in Denmark in the fall of 2022. She is the author of MedStrong: Shed Your Meds for a Better, Healthier You-Aging Well through Deprescribing.



koelsch communities caregiver support

Med Strong Donna Bartlett caregiver support

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We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.

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