Optimizing Medication Management for Older Adults

1.0 Continuing Education Credit Hour

Category: 300 Advanced Concepts

Medications are a useful tool to help treat and prevent disease in older adults. However, there are many factors that make it more complicated to balance the benefits versus the potential risks of medication use in this population. This module will provide a general overview of ways to optimize medication use in older adults by looking at inappropriate medications, effects of the aging body on medications, the usefulness of a comprehensive medication list, and ways to improve medication adherence in the older adult.  This module is NOT approved for continuing education credit by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & Marriage and Family Therapist Board (CSWMFT).


Ruth Emptage, PharmD, CGP

Dr. Emptage has been teaching Doctor of Pharmacy students at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy since 1996. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1993 from OSU and then went to the University of Illinois at Chicago to complete a 2-year Pharmacy Residency/Fellowship in Geriatric Pharmacotherapy. Her clinical practice during her time at The Ohio State University began as a Clinical Pharmacist at the Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers, where she helped maximize medication therapy of adult patients. In 2000, Dr. Emptage began providing in-home medication assessments to primarily older adults through a combined project with LifeCare Alliance and the Cardinal Health Foundation. Currently, Dr. Emptage is providing comprehensive medication reviews to community dwelling older adults in Franklin County in an educational model. Dr. Emptage also provides lectures and presentations on various topics relating to optimizing medications in the older adult patient.


  1. Gain an appreciation for the need to recognize and prevent adverse drug events in the older adult population.
  2. Become familiar with the different categories of the "Beer’s Criteria for Potentially Inappropriate Medications" in the older adult.
  3. Define pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.
  4. Appreciate the necessary components of a Comprehensive Medication List as a tool to avoid medication related problems for the older adult.
  5. Define medication adherence issues, and the barriers of medication adherence, in the older adult population.
  6. Become familiar with the available tools to evaluate and decrease the likelihood of nonadherence.

Online Module

When completing the on-line module you will be presented with learning objectives, brief cases, questions for reflection (not scored), and interactive lessons with hyperlinks to engage you along the way. Once you complete the lessons, you will be presented with the Post Test (which requires a score of 100%) and then the Module Evaluation, followed by the opportunity to print your Continuing Education Certificate. Modules remain available for your future reference once you have completed them.