Medical care ‘worse in nursing homes’

Older people who live in nursing homes receive worse medical care
than those who live in their own homes and are more likely to be
prescribed medication.

A study of 698 older people reveals that, overall, this age group
receives inadequate medical care, but that the quality is even
worse for those who live in nursing homes.

The researchers found that nursing home residents were more likely
to be on sedatives, with more than a quarter prescribed them
compared with 11 per cent of those living in their own homes.

Nursing home residents were also much more likely to be prescribed

The study by Tom Fahey, professor of primary care medicine at the
University of Dundee, also shows how people who live in nursing
homes are less likely to have chronic diseases monitored properly.

It found that heart disease and diabetes sufferers had their blood
pressure monitored less often than those who lived at home.

Annie Stevenson, policy officer for older people’s charity Help the
Aged, said the issue was connected with age discrimination and
human rights as well as the quality of care.

“Lack of proper diagnosis and treatment is about the right to life.
Inappropriate use of drugs is inhumane and degrading treatment,”
she said.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal,
raises concerns about the over-prescription of inappropriate drugs
to people in nursing homes and concludes that more sophisticated
models of prescribing are needed. 

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