CHALLENGES AND RISKS
about the challenges of family caregiving
and the risks of medical mishaps and
financial abuse faced by our aging population.
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children provide 70-80% of all services to non-institutionalized
aging parents for an average of 35.4 hours/week.
following was reported in a 2009 study of family caregivers
in the United States conducted by AARP and the National
Alliance for Caregiving ii:
the past 12 months, an estimated 65.7 million people
in the U.S. have served as unpaid family caregivers
to an adult or a child.
reported that their health has gotten worse as a result
longer a caregiver has been providing care, the more
likely she or he is to report fair or poor health. Specifically,
23% of those who have been providing care for five years
or more report their health is fair or poor.
of the caregivers (53%) say that their caregiving takes
time away from friends and other family members.
who have sacrificed this time with family and friends
are far more likely to feel high emotional stress (47%)
than are those who have been able to maintain the time
they spend with family and friends (14%).
than one-third (37%) have children or grandchildren
under the age of 18 in the household.
between Doctor and Patient
have shown that:
15% of patients fully understand what their doctors
tell them and 50% leave their doctor's offices uncertain
of what they need to do to take care of themselves.
listen to a patient's concerns for an average of just
22 seconds before interrupting. iv
During doctor's appointments:
of the time doctors neglected to mention side effects
of new medications,
of the time doctors didn't tell patients how long
to take the drug and
of the time doctors didn't give details on how often
to take the medicine. iii
communication between doctors and patients leads to lower
blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, lower blood pressure
for patients with hypertension and reduced pain for patients.
patients have support communicating with doctors:
are more likely to be satisfied with their doctor's
ability to give information and
are more likely to be satisfied with their physician's
interpersonal skills. v
represent just over 13% of the population, but consume
40% of prescription drugs and 35% of all over the counter
average, individuals 65 to 69 years old take nearly 14
prescriptions per year and individuals aged 80 to 84 take
an average of 18 prescriptions per year.
of patient behavior show that LESS THAN 50% of the people
who leave a doctor's office with a prescription take the
drug as directed. vi
out of 10 adults delayed care or failed to follow prescriptions
to save money. vii
Massachusetts State Pharmacy Board estimated that 2.4
million prescriptions are filled improperly each year
in this state alone. vi
than 200,000 people die each year from medication-related
problems. Adverse drug reactions alone are between the
fourth and sixth leading cause of death. viii
drug reactions and noncompliance are responsible for 28%
of hospitalizations of the elderly.
year 32,000 seniors suffer hip fractures caused by medication-related
in five Medicare patients that are discharged will be
re-hospitalized within 30 days - usually within 7-8 days
following discharge. One half of the patients had not
seen the doctor for follow up.
hospital readmissions account for $17.4 billion of the
$102.6 billion that Medicare paid hospitals in 2004.
of patients are discharged with test results still pending.
Ten percent of these results might change the management
of patient care.
of physicians are unaware of test results returning after
discharge that may change management.
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in 25 cases of all elder abuse is financial abuse.
2.5 million to five million incidents of abuse occur annually.
five to 10 incidents of abuse occurs every minute.
one half of reported cases of financial abuse and/or exploitation
involves victims age 80 and up.
annual financial loss for elderly victims is over $2.6 billion.
If medical care and other services are added, the cost rises
to $13 billion.
abuse threatens the health, dignity and economic security
of millions of Americans.
one's life savings and/or housing can be devastating and
Designing and Implementing a Medical Advocacy Program: Patient
Partners. Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference. March 15 2010
- Chicago, IL by Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County.
Caregiving in the U.S. Executive Summary. National Alliance
for Caregiving conducted in collaboration with AARP, November
Levine, Meredith. 2004. "Tell the Doctor All Your Problems,
but Keep It to Less Than a Minute." The NewYork Times,
iv Goodman, Brenda. May/June 2009. "The 18-Minute
Doctor's Appointment Challenge." Arthritis Today, p. 61-65
Goodman, Brenda. May/June 2009. "The 18-Minute Doctor's
Appointment Challenge." Arthritis Today, p. 61-65., citing
a study by Wolff, J. and Roter, D. (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg
School of Public Health) published in the Archives of Internal
Medicine on 7/14/2008 entitled "Hidden in Plain Sight:
Medical Visit Companions as a Resource for Vulnerable Older
Preventing Medication-Related Problems: Targeting Sustainability
in a Complex Adaptive System. Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference
March 15 2010 - Chicago, IL by Koffend, Koffend and Roush.
Understanding and Negotiating Todays Healthcare System. A Care
Transitions project offered by Piedmont Hospital Sixty Plus.
Visiting Nurse I Hospice Atlanta ; The Atlanta Regional Commission,
Area Agency on Aging. Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference March
15 2010 - Chicago, IL.
Ernst and Grizzle 2001; Lazarouet al. 1998
Innovation in Elder Financial Abuse Prevention: The 'Be Wise'
Community Outreach Model Empowering Seniors, Advocates and Financial
Professionals to Stop Elder Financial Abuse, Elder Financial
Protection Network; Duane and Karr, Presented at ASA/NCOA Conference
March 15 2010 - Chicago, IL.