PATIENT SAFETY IN GERIATRIC

Geriatric Patient Safety

Patient Safety is one of the growing concerns of healthcare field and elderly people are particularly at the threat of various medical errors. Certain researches show that the medical errors are more common among patients above 65 years of age when compared with the other age group.

Hospitalised seniors may face the risks of poor nursing care for patients, long hospitals stays, increased mortality, fall risks, functional decline and medicinal errors. Patient safety and quality of the treatment can be increased with healthy developments in the overall functional concepts of healthcare systems and hospitals can take the initiative to improve the patient care quality.

Aging And Medical Errors

Elderly patients are more vulnerable to medical errors because of the physiological factors occurs due to aging. Wrong prescription or overdosing may lead to serious health issues in elders. Understanding harmful medicines for elderly is one way to protect your elders from the consequences. Speak with doctor or a pharmacist about the medicines and its side effects on elders to have clarity on this.

Consider a drug history of the elderly patient before the treatment that may help to find out whether the patient is allergic to any particular medication. A physician can confirm the drug class, clinical indications and brands before prescribing to a patient. 40% of elderly patients fails to take their medication on time or to follow the correct prescription. An assistance can be given at the home to help them to tackle this situation.

Inform the patient about the possible side effects of wrong medication and also ask them inform their healthcare profession in case if there is any development of new symptoms. Help them to identify each medicines by keeping them in different boxes or places.

Fall Prevention In Elderly

Falls are the leading cause of perilous injuries in elderly. According to a study, each year one out of three person above65 years of age falls. Aged people are more vulnerable to falls due to various physiological and psychological reasons. A fall can happen at any time anywhere. The fear of falling, decreased mobility and independency, long hospital stays and injuries are some of contributing factors of falls in elderly.

Wet surfaces, poor lighting or clutters are the major reason of falls at home, and most of the fractures in elders are due to the falls at home.

Lifestyle Modifications To Prevent Falls
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake and smoking
  • Follow proper medical check-ups that include eye check-ups, blood check-up, blood pressure and cardiac evaluations.
  • Include adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D in diet.
  • Keep an eye on your medication and keep your doctor informed about your health condition.
  • Take medicines on time as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor about starting exercises or take support from a physiotherapist.
  • Make life more active and get socialised

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