Lessons for staff working in aged care

Aged care workers attend education session at Blacktown Hospital.

Common health problems for elderly people living in aged care residency were discussed at a recent educational session held at Blacktown Hospital.

More than 120 health staff from Western Sydney Local Health District and Nepean and Blue Mountain Local Health District were in attendance to share their views.

Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals’ geriatric staff specialist Dr Peter Kurusumuthu said one of the topics discussed with the use of prescribed medication to manage behavioural symptoms of dementia.

“Some medications are prescribed to manage behavioural symptoms of dementia especially in residential aged care facilities,” Peter said.

“However, an association has been demonstrated between treatment with antipsychotic medications and the disease and mortality in people with dementia.

“Therefore implementing initiatives aimed at reducing the use of antipsychotic medications for people with dementia has become an international priority.

“Many studies show that educating the health caregivers about specific diseases are significantly improves aged care residents well-being and quality of life.

“In most cases we know that keeping elderly patients out of hospital helps speeds their recovery by remaining in an environment they are familiar with.

“We look forward to hosting another educational session in the near future,” Peter said.

The education session was organised by Blacktown Hospital’s department of geriatric medicine and Division of Medicine.