SANATOGA PA – Patient medication records from the Visiting Nurse Association of Pottstown and Vicinity were part of a nationwide study, released last week (Jan. 7, 2009), that shows more than a quarter of elderly people admitted to home care services risk taking drugs more often than prescribed or which could harm them by interacting with other drugs.
The good news: home care staffers – like the VNA’s workers – were available to intervene and help in many cases. Their training to spot potential problems is part of a geriatric program called CHAMP, Curricula for Homecare Advances in Management and Practice.
The VNA, with offices at 1963 E. High St., was one of 50 home care agencies across the country that participated in the program and the study. The only other Pennsylvania participant was Covenant Home Care of Pottsville, Schuylkill County.
The study, conducted by the New York-based Center for Home Care Policy and Research, also found that during their home care a significant number of patients age 65 and older experience problems or complications related to their drug treatments. The incidents included falls related to anti-anxiety drugs, and weakness or confusion related to certain cardiac drugs.