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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 ...

X ray of an enlarged heart

Heart failure, older people and frailtySubscription

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Diagnosis of heart failure and frailty can often be masked by other long-term conditions, making the delivery of treatment goals complicated.

Osteoporotic bone SEM

Managing osteoporosis in older peopleSubscription

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How to understand bone health in the context of the older person, including risk assessment, prevention and the management of osteoporosis in patients likely to have multiple comorbidities.

Insomnia concept, bus stop

Putting insomnia to bedSubscription

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An estimated 30–50% of the population will experience insomnia symptoms at some point in their lives and, in the UK, insomnia rates steadily rise with age. With a 2% increase in sales of over-the-counter sleep aids during 2017, pharmacists are seeing more patients with insomnia symptoms. Here we discuss the health implications of not getting enough sleep and what can be done to help people drift off.

Kayt Blythin is principal clinical pharmacist for medicines optimisation for care homes at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

How Kayt Blythin established a pharmacist-led medicines optimisation service in East Sussex care homes Subscription

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Kayt Blythin is a principal clinical pharmacist for medicines optimisation for care homes at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

Scanning electron microscope of lung tissue

Diagnosis and management of hospital-acquired pneumonia in older adults Subscription

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Hospital‑acquired pneumonia increases the length of in-patient hospital stay and is associated with high mortality rates, particularly in older people. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals need to know how to diagnose and manage the condition, and be cognisant of the gaps in the evidence base.

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.

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.

More on care of older people

statin tablets next to their packaging

Stopping statins in older patients increases risk of cardiovascular-related hospital admission

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Statin discontinuation in patients aged 75 years and over is associated with a 33% increased risk of hospital admission for a cardiovascular event, a study published in European Heart Journal has found.

older person having a check up

Less than 10% of eligible adults had NHS health check last year

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Fewer than one in ten eligible adults had a NHS Health Check over the past year, figures published by the NHS have revealed.

Older person with carer

Long-term diuretic use may reduce fracture risk in people with Alzheimer’s diseaseSubscription

Use of thiazide diuretics for three years or more may reduce the risk of low-energy fracture in people with Alzheimer’s disease, study results have suggested.

An older person's bedside

NHS England fails to fill 240 pharmacy posts in care homes by March 2019 deadline

NHS England has recruited just over 200 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to work in care homes, despite suggesting that 240 roles would be filled by March 2019.

young and old hand with blood sugar test tubes

‘One-size-fits-all’ treatment targets harm frail older patients with diabetesSubscription

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HbA1c targets that ignore differences in the physiology of older patients put them at risk of severe hypoglycaemia, harm and death.

RPS Scotland care home policy launch

Recognise care home pharmacy as a specialism, says RPS Scotland

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Pharmaceutical care in care homes should be recognised as a specialist area and resourced accordingly, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s director for Scotland, Alex MacKinnon has said.

Caregiver care home older person

At least one resident per care home on antibiotics, finds Boots UK study

A month-long survey looking at the antibiotic use of nearly 18,000 patients has revealed that at least one resident in each of 644 long-term care facilities in the UK was taking an antibiotic.

busy hospital waiting room

Depression under-recognised in older adults during acute hospital staysSubscription

Diagnosis of depression is infrequently recorded on older adults’ patient notes, a survey of 27 acute hospitals across England has shown.

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