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Care of older people

Old age brings with it an increased likelihood of long-term conditions, as well as the prospect of taking multiple medicines. Frailty, dementia and mobility problems all contribute to the challenges faced by healthcare services when caring for ageing populations. Much can be done to improve the lives of older people – through innovative care pathways, evidence-based medicine and research into ageing and the delivery of care. Here, you can find news stories and articles on topics ranging ...

Pharmacist explaining dispensing label to senior male patient

How to support patients with sight loss in pharmacy

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More than two million people are affected by sight loss across the UK, which may impact on their ability to use and take their medicines correctly and safely. Here, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Medicines Use and Safety team and Moorfields Eye Hospital provide advice and recommendations for pharmacy to provide appropriate support for people with sight loss.

The use of multiple medicines is still a major problem in British care homes, from the impact on residents to the strain on NHS resources, but ‘deprescribing’ can mitigate these risks. In the image, illustration of an elderly woman in a wheelchair

Deprescribing drugs for care home residents could improve quality of lifeSubscription

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The use of multiple medicines is still a major problem in British care homes, from the impact on residents to the strain on NHS resources, but ‘deprescribing’ can mitigate these risks.

Evidence is emerging that some dementia cases could be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle but long-term studies are needed to confirm the strength of the association. In the image, conceptual illustration of dementia - a disintegrating brain

How lifestyle changes could reduce the risk of developing dementiaSubscription

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Evidence is emerging that some dementia cases could be prevented by leading a healthy lifestyle but long-term studies are needed to confirm the strength of the association.

There are many reasons why patients do not take their medicines as prescribed. Discovering the specific cause of non-adherence is the best way to improve it. In the image, a weekly pill box full of medicines

Devising ways to improve medicines adherenceSubscription

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There are many reasons why patients do not take their medicines as prescribed. Discovering the specific cause of non-adherence is the best way to improve it.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common reasons for using antibiotics in both primary and secondary care. Escherichia coli (micrograph pictured) is still the most common causative organism

Urinary tract infection: management in elderly patientsSubscription

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Around 10% of older people, and almost a third of care home residents, develop a urinary tract infection each year.

Fractured osteoporotic hip of an elderly woman after a fall. Around one in three people aged over 65 years falls at least once a year. This increases to around 50% of people older than 75 years

Preventing falls in older peopleSubscription

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How pharmacy teams can reduce the risk of falls in elderly people by identifying risk factors and managing medicines.

Working to reduce medication risks as a champion of elderly careSubscription

All too often are older patients given multi-compartment compliance aids to help them take their medicines. But these devices are not the be-all and end-all when offering support to such patients  

Pharmacists can play an important role in preventing falls in older people Subscription

Reducing falls among older people is a key aim of the National Service Framework for Older People. Clare Bellingham finds out how pharmacists in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey have been getting involved

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older person taking pills

EMA consults on tailoring medication for older people

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A public consultation from the European Medicines Agency, which could lead to more medications tailored to suit older people, has been welcomed by a consultant pharmacist

Adjusting the dose of aspirin may reduce bleeding riskSubscription

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Aspirin is a potent drug that is still widely prescribed since the days of Hippocrates in its willow bark tea form. Recently, it has been reported that older people are at high risk of gastric bleeds when taking low dose aspirin (The ...

MRI brain scan

US sees rise in numbers of people dying from Alzheimer’s disease

Deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have risen by more than 50% in a 15-year period and are expected to increase further, a report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning.

Woman takes blood test for diabetes

Statins associated with increased risk of diabetes in older womenSubscription

Researchers say that older women taking statins should be regularly monitored after discovering that the risk of diabetes increased the higher the dose of statin in a cohort of 8,372 patients.

Hormone replacement therapy drugs

HRT could cut heart disease in post-menopausal women, study suggests

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Some women could live longer if they take hormone replacement therapy because of its cardiovascular protective effects, according to a new retrospective study.

osteoporotic hip

Osteoporosis drugs may cause microcracks in bone

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Bisphosphonates are prescribed to prevent fractures in osteoporosis, but new research suggests that, paradoxically, they can also cause tiny cracks in bone

A patient taking a tablet of the antidepressant drug fluoxetine

Doctors prescribe antidepressants for off-label indications without evidence

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More than 40% of off-label prescriptions for antidepressants have no strong evidence for the indication, increasing risks of adverse drug events, large study shows.

HRT not found to prevent Alzheimer's

Postmenopausal hormone therapy does not protect women against Alzheimer’s disease, study suggests

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There is no evidence that postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, a large, 20-year follow-up study has found.

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