The appropriate prescribing and use of medications in older Albertans is a priority for the Seniors Health Strategic Clinical Network (SH SCN). Increasing medication use in older persons or polypharmacy, results in greater risk of side effects and interactions which adversely impact well-being for older Albertans, some of which may culminate into hospitalizations and emergency department visits. With a doubling of the older adult population in Alberta expected in twenty years, a systems approach is needed to reduce the harms of unnecessary medication use and mitigate health system costs.
The Appropriate Prescribing and Medication Use Strategy for Older Albertans (APMUSOA) strategy document has been created as a guide to achieve a systems approach in implementation of initiatives across diverse health care settings such as acute care/ hospital, primary care, community and continuing care. Highlights of key themes in the Strategy include:
The following classes of medications were identified as priorities in APMUSOA as identified by Alberta stakeholders
This story follows the experiences of one caregiver as she supports her aging parents.