Elderly Healthcare Often Poor

March 13, 2003 — Healthcare for the elderly is often inadequate. That’s particularly true for nursing-home residents, a British study shows.

Tom Fahey, MD, a doctor and professor at the University of Dundee, led a research team that looked at the care given to 172 nursing-home residents and 526 age-matched patients receiving care at home. All patients lived in Bristol, England.

“The quality of medical care that elderly patients receive in one U.K. city — particularly those in nursing homes — is inadequate,” Fahey and colleagues write in the March 15 issue of the British Medical Journal. “We suggest that better coordinated care for these patients would avoid the problems of overuse of unnecessary or harmful drugs, underuse of beneficial drugs, and poor monitoring of chronic disease.”