You might be interested to know that in Japan when a person turns 60 years old it is a huge event. It marks a rite of passage into ‘old age’.
Maybe 60 is a bit young, but it must be acknowledged that older people can be vulnerable, particularly as reliance on others increases and it becomes more difficult for them to express their desires and wishes, especially where they might feel under pressure to not be a burden.
According to the AMA, between 2010 and 2050, the number of older Australians (65 to 84 years) will more than double from 2.6 million to 6.3 million, and the number of very old people (85 and over) will more than quadruple from 0.4 million to 1.8 million.
All Australians have a right of access to medical care when they need it but what influence does age have on the decisions that are made?
Is there ever an age limit to medical interventions, particularly surgery for acute injury?
What is the legal environment in Australia when deciding on levels of care?
This year at our Risk Management Conferences our panel of experts will explore the issues of health care for the elderly with a focus on 5 areas:
- When and how to treat – the question of frailty and medical futility
- How to manage the consenting process
- Advanced care directives and end of life
- Medication management
- Elder abuse
In healthcare, treating an elderly person comes with many complexities. The question of frailty and its impact on treatment decisions spans all areas of medicine: surgical, anaesthetic, non-procedural specialist care, general practice, out-patient and emergency.
Are you confident that you are providing optimal care and guidance to your elderly patients when it comes to understanding the unique issues of aging? This includes considering:
- Consent and the question of fluctuating capacity
- Advance Care Directives – what if you don’t agree with the direction?
- Polypharmacy – what are the impacts on frailty and when should you prescribe or de-prescribe?
- Which of your patients are at risk of suffering abuse?
These issues are never black and white and can be difficult to tackle as a lone practitioner. At this year’s Risk Management Conferences we will walk you through real life scenarios while our experts offer opinion, share knowledge and provide you with tools and resources to support you in caring for the not-so-young patient.
Book to attend a conference in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth or Brisbane.