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Challenges and Solutions for Care of Frail Older Adults

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Author(s): Young, H

Journal: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing
ISSN 1091-3734

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: older adults | frailty | health care system | hospitalization | long-term care | community-based services | resource allocation | gerontological nursing | health care costs

ABSTRACT
Frail older adults are at risk for negative outcomes and are the most significant consumers of health resources across both acute and community settings. Both formal systems and families are involved in this care of frail elders. This article reviews health care issues for frail older adults and addresses the impact of frailty on the future health care system. It also presents challenges for future care, creative solutions that are currently being tested and explored, and suggestions for future nursing priorities. Challenges in the care of frail elders include: the organization and sustainability of the continuum of services, resource allocation, and cultural competence in service delivery. Creative solutions include intensive case management programs, targeting at risk older adults, partnerships with families, enhanced use of telemedicine and assistive technology, and promoting healthy aging. Nurses have the potential to improve elder health across settings through clinical practice, education, leadership, and research.
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