PATIENT SAFETY FACT SHEET OLDER ADULTS
The group with the highest death rate from overdose is the 45-to-54 age group — more than four times the rate for teenagers and young adults. AARP September 2015 https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2015/opioid-pain-medication-overdose.html
Older adults (65 years or older) visit emergency departments almost 450,000 times each year, more than twice as often as younger persons due to adverse drug events. https://www.cdc.gov/medicationsafety/adult_adversedrugevents.html
Almost one-third of all Medicare patients — nearly 12 million people — were prescribed opioid painkillers by their physicians in 2015. That same year, 2.7 million Americans over age 50 abused painkillers, meaning they took them for reasons or in amounts beyond what their doctors prescribed. https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-2017/opioid-drug-addiction-pain-pills.html
Many medical doctors misdiagnose and mistreat delirium. At the same time they contribute to increasing its frequency by prescribing drugs that are some of the precipitating and aggravating factors in older persons, in whom cognition is their most vulnerable function. https://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/01/delirium-common-cause-misdiagnosis-elderly
Medical illnesses are too often misdiagnosed or wrongfully labeled as purely psychiatric illnesses. Based on that data, one out of three older patients may actually need medical care versus behavioral health care. http://careforyourmind.org/older-adults-are-being-overlooked-when-it-comes-to-mental-health-care/
Approximately half of the 1.6 million nursing home residents in the United States fall each year, nearly 10% of Medicare skilled nursing facility residents experienced a fall resulting in significant injury. https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/40/Falls
Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education and Advocacy (CPSEA) is dedicated to raising awareness about patient safety through education, advocacy, and support.
We envision a world in which the patient's voice is heard and no one is harmed by healthcare.