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National poll: Low cost, lifesaving services missing from most older patients' health care
Date:5/1/2012

New York, NY(May 1, 2012) Large majorities of older Americans experience significant and troubling gaps in their primary care, according to a new national survey, "How Does It Feel? The Older Adult Health Care Experience," released today by the John A. Hartford Foundation, a champion for improved geriatric care and longtime partner of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University's College of Nursing.

The poll focuses exclusively on Americans age 65 and older and assesses whether, in the past 12 months, patients received seven important medical services to support healthy aging, including:

  • an annual medication review,
  • a falls risk assessment and history,
  • depression screening,
  • referral to community-based health resources, and
  • discussion of their ability to perform routine daily tasks and activities without help.

This type of low-cost, low-tech geriatric care supports a health aging process by managing and lowering patients' risk of a number of preventable health problems that can be serious enough to erode quality of life, increase health care costs, cause disability, and even kill. Yet only a tiny number (7%) of older adults surveyed received all seven recommended services, which represent critical elements of a geriatric assessment. Fifty-two percent report receiving none or only one, and large majorities (76%) received fewer than half.

For a complete list of findings from the poll, please visit http://www.jhartfound.org/learning-center/hartford-poll-2012/

"Primary care providers must recognize the uniqueness of care for older adults. The need to keep people at their highest potential for cognitive and physical function must be a priority," said Tara Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN, executive director of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New Y
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Contact: Tara Cortes, PhD, RN, FAAN
Tara.Cortes@nyu.edu
212-992-9416
New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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