The UK is considered to have an ageing population (2013- 10 million over 65 in UK); some may perceive this to have negative consequences due to several factors: for instance, many argue that the ageing population places pressure on public health services. On average, those over 65 spend 9 nights compared to an average of two nights for the rest of the population per year. Moreover, the elderly are more likely to have co-morbidities hence visit doctors more frequently. They are also more likely to need carers to help them with some daily activities. Consequently, this puts strain on social care services. The immediate issues here are the costs and how much the government pays for each individual aged over 65.
In the developing countries, care for the elderly is seen as a responsibility of the family. However, in developed countries where nuclear family is more common, responsibility for the elderly has now been shifted to professional providers. For many now, the doubt is: should care be provided by the government or should the elderly and their families pay the full price?
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Throughout this module I hope to understand the challenges of an ageing population as it is a problem in the UK. I am hoping that in the future as a pharmacist I can contribute significantly to increasing healthy life expectancy of the elderly. The role of the pharmacist in ageing population is crucial to help the elderly contribute to the economy. As a pharmacist, one needs to be able to understand the different services available to the elderly to allow active ageing. As well as understanding the common condition associated with age such as Alzheimer’s disease in order to help patients manage the condition and enjoy their life for longer. Finally awareness of the clinical considerations in the elderly is essential. Pharmacists should work with other healthcare professionals in order to meet patients’ needs allowing them to live a long, healthy life.
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