Polypharmacy and older adults

A lap belt intended to prevent an individual from falling from a wheelchair in a nursing home is a restraint if the patient is unable to readily undo the latch.

Chemical and physical restraint use in the older person

Alternatives to the use of restraints need to be considered Polypharmacy and older adults when restraint use is initiated and during their use. Unfortunately with this increase in the use of multiple medications comes with an increased risk for negative health outcomes such as higher healthcare costs, ADEs, drug-interactions, medication non-adherence, decreased functional status and geriatric syndromes.

The patient is likely pulling the catheter out simply because of the discomfort caused by the catheter itself since the patients behavior is at the same baseline as before the catheter was inserted as determined by discussion with the staff.

The evaluation criteria include indication, effectiveness, dosage, directions, drug-drug interaction, drug-disease interaction, duplication, duration, and comparative cost. Only one study showed an reduction in the use of ineffective medications [ 49 ].


Because chronic conditions tend to accumulate in the elderly, pill burden is a particular issue in geriatrics. Judicious use of sitters has been shown to reduce falls and the use of restraints Expert Opin Drug Saf.

The use of four or more of these medicines is known to be associated with a significantly higher, cumulative risk of falls. Am J Crit Care. The adverse reactions of these combinations of drugs are not reliably predictable. In contrast, research has clearly established a strong relationship between polypharmacy and negative clinical consequences.

Pittsburgh, PA ; Phone: With every drug added, there is an additive risk of side-effects. Examples of these include urinary anticholinergics, which can prevent up to one episode of incontinence every 48 hours on average.

Forensic research also links antipsychotic medication and patient deaths Contraindications[ edit ] The use of polypharmacy is correlated to the use of potentially inappropriate medications. Scand J Prim Care.

Regulatory intervention has been a key part of gaining the commitment of institutional leadership when other opportunities were not seized. Measures can be taken to limit polypharmacy to its truly legitimate and appropriate needs.

A third example is the use of a deck of cards or a lump of modeling clay to keep the patient involved in an alternative activity to the target behavior that may be endangering the patient or staff.

Clinical Consequences of Polypharmacy in Elderly

Review of the use of physical restraints and lap belts with wheelchair users. OBRA ten years later. Health problems associated with lower urinary tract symptoms in older women.

Unnecessary drug use in frail older people at hospital discharge. The JCAHO recommends risk reduction strategies that include eliminating the use of inappropriate or unsafe restraints.

Managing medications in clinically complex elders: Obesity is implicated in many of the aforementioned conditions, and it is not uncommon for a clinically obese patient to receive pharmacologic treatment for all of these.

Elon R, Pawlson LG. Among the agreed upon standards are: It is not uncommon for those dependent or addicted to substances to enter or remain in a state of polypharmacy misuse.

Reducing pill burden is recognized as a way to improve medication compliance. Interestingly, one case-control study of more than 71, nursing home patients in four states showed that patients in Alzheimer special care units were no less likely to be physically restrained compared to traditional units.

Note, however, that the term polypharmacy and its variants generally refer to legal drug use as-prescribed, even when used in a negative or critical context.

Case study A 79 year old female nursing home resident with frontotemporal dementia and spinal stenosis has a chronic indwelling catheter for cauda equina syndrome and neurogenic bladder. Complications of restraints can be serious including death resulting from medications or devices3,4.

Another example is the use of a lap belt with a Velcro release as opposed to a vest restraint without a release.

Polypharmacy in Older Adults: The Role of the Advanced Practitioner in Oncology

Comprehensive nursing assessment of problem behaviors, a physician order before or immediately after instituting a restraint, and documentation of the failure of alternatives to restraint are required before the use of a restraint is permitted. Conditions and circumstances predisposing to death from positional asphyxia in adults.

Not all sentinel events are medical errors, but they imply risk for errors as noted in the revised JCAHO sentinel event definition: Every attempt should be made to allow earlier weaning from these treatments, thereby rendering the restraint unnecessary.

Psychosocial needs of the older adult

Falls in older adults are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and are an important class of preventable michaelferrisjr.com cause of falling in old age is often multifactorial, and may require a multidisciplinary approach both to treat any injuries sustained and to prevent future falls.

Falls include dropping from a standing position, or from exposed positions such as those on ladders or. INTRODUCTION — Optimizing drug therapy is an essential part of caring for an older person. The process of prescribing a medication is complex and includes: deciding that a drug is indicated, choosing the best drug, determining a dose and schedule appropriate for the patient's physiologic status, monitoring for effectiveness and toxicity, educating the patient about expected side effects, and.

E.R. Hajjar et al. The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy duplication. The daily mean number of unnecessary drugs was per person. Older individuals are often faced with issues of polypharmacy due to multiple chronic conditions and multiple providers.

The risks associated with polypharmacy can lead to increased adverse effects, falls, and decreased risk of medication compliance. Prescriptions & Older Adults zOlder adults get times as many prescriptions – 12% of population > 32% of prescription drugs – Avg - $ per year on drugs zTypical older adult takes prescriptions and 2 OTC drugs at once zWhy?

– More acute & chronic disease – More doctors visits zFragmented with specialist care – More trips to ED – More side effects to medications. Beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid have on average, a 25 percent higher rate of chronic conditions than beneficiaries who are not dually eligible.

Dually eligible beneficiaries also tend to use a variety of medications and have higher Medicare Part D prescription drug costs than Medicare-only beneficiaries.

It is therefore important to address medication management.

Polypharmacy and older adults
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