Improving the Health of Older Adults
Ms. Rosa has just returned home after her second hospital stay within a month. She is 66 years old and has several chronic conditions with 12 prescribed medications. Ms. Rosa sees two doctors and uses two different pharmacies. Her medications were adjusted during her inpatient stay resulting in several new prescriptions. She feels overwhelmed by all the instructions she received in the hospital. She is confused about the medication changes. Ms. Rosa is the caregiver for her husband who has dementia. She also often babysits her grandchildren. She knows she needs to take better care of herself but she is worried that she can’t do that when so many others are relying on her. Fortunately support for Ms. Rosa is available. Nearly one in five Medicare patients will be readmitted within 30 days of a hospital discharge. (Rau) This research also shows that 72% of adverse events following a hospital stay are related to medications and that medication errors are the fifth leading cause of death among older adults. (HomeMeds.org) Many hospitalizations and medication related problems are preventable.