Optimising medicine use in older people

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30 Aug 2016 - General

According to a review of Australian and international research, up to 74% of aged care facility residents take nine or more medicines on a regular basis. Although multiple medicines use may be unavoidable, polypharmacy has been associated with a variety of adverse events, including falls, hospitalisations, and mortality. I would like to focus on residential aged care as they are generally older, frailer, and more susceptible to adverse events. Aged care homes are very common in Australia, but there are not so many in Singapore. I would like to know more about the set up of aged care homes and how they run in Asia. See if they differ to Australia. There are different types of aged care homes in Australia - Hostels, nursing homes, and retirement homes. Hostels appear more like a hospital setting (not so inviting!) for elderly. Nursing homes tend to look more like long term stay homes for elderly. Retirement homes are for elderly that are still independent - they do not have any medical staff on site. Both hostels and nursing homes in Australia run day-to-day predominantly by nurses. Doctors have scheduled routine visits, and do emergency visits when necessary. Other allied health can also make scheduled visits e.g. physiotherapists, dieticians, and podiatrists. Medicines are supplied by the contracted pharmacy as "dose administration aids", administered in the form of sachets or websterpaks. Pharmacists are also required to do routine medication audits. The main doctors, registered nurses, and pharmacists are expected to perform quarterly meetings to discuss any issues or concerns regarding the aged care facility. This set up, if done correctly, can be contribute a great deal to optimising quality use of medicines and reducing polypharmacy. I have spotted a few nursing homes around Singapore and was curious how it looked inside in comparison to Australia. What role does pharmacy have in aged care homes in Asia? 

Ahh that makes sense Marinelle Castro, I thought there would be a cultural barrier causing less emphasis on nursing homes in Asia. It is a shame that nursing homes are frowned upon here. I too used to have the same cultural judgement, but after working with nursing homes in Australia I have come to realise there are true benefits to constant medical care in a friendly environment. The stigma of neglecting your pa...
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An Chau There are only a few nursing homes in Manila that I can think of. Although our population is also aging, nursing homes are not patronized by the Filipino community due to traditional and cultural reasons. In our culture, most families are inclined to live with their parents and take care of them whenever they are sick. If they cannot physically do this, families usually hire a caregiver to help them in c...
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