The healthcare sector faces many challenges when it comes to the elderly and the way they are supposed to manage their medication. Patients with chronic diseases require close monitoring and strict adherence to medication. In most cases, elderly patients have shown an irregular adherence to their medication. This trend of having adherence issues makes it hard for the health conditions to be managed. This paper will focus on the factors that contribute to the nature of elderly patients concerning their attitude towards medication. The paper will also discuss measures that have been employed to curb the tendency of elderly patients not to adhere to medication. The challenges faced by elderly patients are caused by several factors. In order to resolve this problem, the factors involved have to be addressed in an appropriate manner so that they do not influence the patients negatively leading to medication avoidance.
Drug adherence and other medication management habits by elderly patients have undesired effects on their general health conditions (Henriques, Costa, & Cabrita, 2012). When patients suffering from chronic diseases have similar habits, it compromises all the aims for quality care and, therefore, probable loss of life. It is the aim of medical care to improve the health condition of patients and ensure that they are protected from future infections, as well. The effectiveness of medication depends on the cooperation of the patient. Health professionals’ ideas and energy are wasted when patients do not adhere to their medical schedules regarding medication. Every action taken by health workers should address patient values and preferences.
Patient centered care is, therefore, dependent on the medication habits that patients have. It also takes more time managing elderly patients because they at times might not adhere to the schedules of taking their medication (Pfizer Incorporation, 2011). A lot of time is wasted when such elderly patients default on taking their medication. Since elderly patients comprise of a vast group of people who need medical attention in health facilities, their poor medication management enhances unfair service provision. Their habit is against the equitable aim of improvement in health care. It is evident that this issue can alter the services delivered to patients and their perception of health professionals. It is wise, therefore, for the problem to be addressed so that it does not negatively influence the quality of service provided by health professionals (Pfizer Incorporation, 2011).
Significance of data in health care conditions cannot be based on quantity. Small errors can end up being fatal as a patient can lose their life. The same case applies to poor medication management in elderly patients. Even if the numbers of those affected by this habit may be few, the consequences of the same are high. According to the WHO statistics, in the year 2012, elderly patients experienced under-prescription when they were put under polypharmacy (Martial, mantel-Teeuwisse, & Jansen, 2013). Having elderly patients to choose from a wide range of drugs predisposes them to developing poor medication management. Adhering to strict medication schedules is not easy, and these patients end up missing on drugs that they require. The numbers of those affected keeps on increasing and this is becoming a crisis, especially when tallied with health effects. Skipping on drugs can complicate the health condition of an individual.
Poor medication management has an influence in the quality of service delivered in the sense that the goals of the services provided will not be met (Martial, Mantel-Teeuwisse, & Jansen, 2013). If the objective of a health professional is to resolve the health complication fully, anything short of this will be a failure. When elderly patients do not take drugs as they are required, their health conditions do not improve. The issue can be measured by the number of patients affected and the number of those who suffer the consequences of the same. When the cost of this issue is analyzed in terms of monetary value, most of the drugs used in chronic diseases affecting elderly patients are expensive. In a study carried out in Australia, it was found out that the problems faced with medication in elderly patients can bring down the quality of services that health professionals deliver (Elliot, 2006). It could be argued that the number of elderly patients affected is small, and so the assumption that the significance of the effect is dismal. It is important to keep in mind that these numbers are compared with the number of elderly patients that are exposed to the risk of having poor medication management. When these two are compared, it is evident that the percentage of elderly patients affected is high. It is at this point that the range of effect can be assessed. With continued health interventions, elderly patients should be given proper attention so that they do not develop this habit of not adhering to their medication schedules (Elliot, 2006). If the aims of quality service are to be attained, then health professionals have to make sure that they have cultured a trend where elderly patients manage their medication properly.
The purpose of the unit that I work in is to provide general care to elderly patients and ensure that they keep to the medication schedule. The population attended to is mainly elderly patients. The services may be provided to other patients when there is a need since it involves the same process of service delivery. The providers involved in this unit are many. Physicians overlook the well-being of the patients while the infections control personnel work with other health professionals to make sure that the patients do not get infections while under medication. The main process in the unit is to manage the medication pattern of elderly patients. Due to their old age, it is difficult for them to maintain a constant adherence of drug intake. Most of the diseases that affect these elderly patients are chronic. Therefore, it means that, if the drugs the patients are supposed to take are not handled properly, they will not recover.
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