Helping your parent deal with multiple health issues

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, three out of four adults over the age of 65 have multiple chronic conditions.  An article from the New York Times states a majority of older adults are coping with at least three chronic conditions. Managing the combination of these ailments together can be difficult. 

And the problem is that sometimes treating one disease can worsen another. There’s the unpredictability of drug interactions, and sometimes side effects can make a patient feel worse, even as they’re improving their lab results.

Dr. Matthew McNabney is the American Geriatrics Society’s chairman of clinical practice. He led a panel of 11 geriatric experts in a variety of fields who began meeting over a year ago to come up with a better way to treat older adults suffering from several chronic diseases. McNabney told The New York Times, “There’s not a good understanding of how to manage all these problems simultaneously. Not only is it difficult and complicated, but it’s often harmful.”

In early October, McNabney and the experts on his panel released a 25-page document focused on reorienting doctors away from focusing on a single disease rather than the conjunction of several that often afflict.

The document called, “Guiding Principles for the Care of Older Adults With Multimorbidity” is available online at the American Geriatrics Society website.

The panel discovered the importance of bringing the patient into the treatment process, and also developed a tip sheet for older patients. The tip sheet focuses on the patient and brings up a point that may not realize. There’s a void of research on how older people respond to certain treatments partly because the elderly are often excluded from clinical trials.

And that void can be scary, not only for the patient, but also their family and their caregivers. If your parent is overwhelmed with taking multiple medications for different chronic conditions, help is available through senior care providers such as Encompass Senior Solutions. If you’re in the Omaha area, contact us contact us today for a consultation.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”