Prescribing for older people in nursing homes: Challenges for the future

  • Hughes C
  • Lapane K
  • Kerse N
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hughes c., lapane k. & kerse n. (2011) Prescribing for older people in nursing homes: challenges for the future. International Journal of Older People Nursing6, 63–70 doi: 10.1111/j.1748-3743.2010.00262.x As the population continues to age, long-term care for older people will be required, although the setting and method of delivery may differ depending on people’s needs. We anticipate that nursing homes will continue to be part of the overall long-term care delivery model, but will face a number of challenges if they are to be considered as much sought-after places. This paper highlights three issues in relation to prescribing that have been largely ignored to date, but which need to be considered by practitioners, policy makers and researchers alike: culture; resident-centred decision-making and care at the end of life. There has been growing interest in culture within organisations and how this may influence behaviour and performance. In this paper, we will consider how culture may influence prescribing. Culture is important in how it contributes to resident-centred care and this leads to a consideration on how residents may be involved in decision-making, specifically in the area of medicines. Finally, care at the end of life in nursing homes, particularly in those with dementia, has been shown to be poor in quality, and this also encompasses the medicines that are prescribed. Palliative services need to be developed to meet the requirements of some of the most vulnerable residents in this care setting.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Culture
  • Decision-making
  • End-of-life care

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