I have always suspected that doctors were getting a little too "happy" with over-prescribing tests and meds for their patients - particularly the elderly. I was at my dentist's office this week and the hygenist shared with me that her grandmother is on 25 different medications! I think that this is not only negligence but abuse. How can the human body synthesize that many drugs without some detrimental effect on the body?
Anyway, I found this great article the other day that really confirms what I had always assumed: http://health.yahoo.com/news/ap/us_med_unnecessary_tests.html
If you think that your elder is being given too many meds or, worse yet, invasive tests....speak up...ask questions...and, if you don't feel comfortable with the answers, switch docs. There are great doctors out there who know how to treat seniors and they take the least invasive path...