Institutionalisation and Drug Use in Older Adults in the US
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Since the introduction of Medicaid and Medicare in the US in 1965, the rate of use of nursing homes by elderly persons has more than doubled. Nursing home care accounts for about 8% of the healthcare budget. The rate of nursing home use by elderly people and the subsequent costs are expected to increase during the 1990s.
The elderly nursing home population have a disproportionately high rate of drug consumption; it has been estimated that up to one-third of elderly nursing home residents receive 8 to 12 drugs per day. Multiple drug use is a risk factor for morbidity in elderly patients. Recent regulations have tried to rationalise the use of particular classes of drugs in nursing homes, with some success. However, multiple drug use is not necessarily unjustified, given the complex comorbidity seen in some patients. Since the value of many drugs has not been proven in the elderly population, further studies are required to prove the value of drugs used in this patient population in improving function and quality of life. Regular review of total regimens should be undertaken often.
KeywordsNursing Home Nursing Home Resident Health Care Financing Isosorbide Dinitrate American Geriatrics Society
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