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KEY CONCEPTS

KEY CONCEPTS

  • image The population of older adults in the United States is increasing and is expected to become more racially and ethnically diverse.

  • imageAgeism, or negative ideas about age and aging, can adversely affect health outcomes in older adults.

  • imageThe primary goal of care for older adults is to maximize the amount of time they can live independently.

  • imageLiving arrangements of older adults are tied to health and functional status, presence of disabilities, and caregiver ability, rather than chronological age.

  • imageGeriatric assessment is a multidisciplinary, multifaceted approach to promote wellness and prolong independence.

  • image Geriatric syndromes are multifactorial clinical conditions that are linked with poor health outcomes.

  • image Pharmacists can play an important role in identifying medications that may be contributing to geriatric syndromes.

  • imageTransitions of care are common and risky for older adults.

  • imageOptimal care transitions require teamwork, and the pharmacist’s primary role on the care transitions team is to identify and address current and potential medication-related problems.

BEYOND THE BOOK

BEYOND THE BOOK

As the population of older adults continues to grow, there is a pressing need to reimagine what it means to age, to reframe thoughts about how older people contribute to society, and to combat ageism, which is defined as discrimination based on age. The Reframing Aging Initiative offers important suggestions on how to achieve this goal. Navigate to the Reframing Aging website resource page (https://www.reframingaging.org/Resources/Multimedia). Listen to the two-part podcast “Words Matter: a Podcast with Patricia D’Antonio.” As you are listening to the podcast, recognize any implicit bias you may have against older people. Commit to making language choices that are less “othering” of or discriminatory against older people. Start by identifying one or two words that you will either avoid using or start using in your everyday life and future practice. Reframing your thoughts about age and aging can have a positive impact on health outcomes for older adults.

INTRODUCTION

The population of older adults aged 65 years or older is growing both globally and in the United States. This is due to increased life expectancy associated with advances in science and technology in early detection of diseases, therapeutic interventions that increase survival, and overall improved healthcare delivery to the general public such as vaccinations, access to care, and multiple treatment options.1

As people are living longer, they are likely to experience multiple chronic medical conditions. The fraction of older adults using healthcare resources will increase, primarily due to the aging of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Despite the development of chronic medical conditions, many older adults lead full, active lives with functional abilities largely preserved. This is contrary to the myth that older age is linked with sickness and disability or poor functional status. Many of these older adults either have few chronic conditions or have them well-controlled. The healthcare needs for an active ...

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