Vermont Medical Assistance for the Elderly

Dates: 2006-2008

State: Vermont

Client(s): Vermont Department of Aging & Independent Living

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Training & Technical Assistance

Technical Expertise: Aging, State and Local Public Health

Older adults are at increased risk for medication-related problems (MRPs). MRPs lead to increased health care utilization, loss of independence, or death. 55% of older adults do not follow, in some way, their medication regimen; 25% do not fill new prescriptions; 39% are unable to read prescription label; and 67% don't fully understand information given to them. Medication-related problems also often prevent older adults from living in the dwelling of their choice. This is usually because many congregate housing facilities fail to offer supportive housing services such as assistance with medications. Further, many older adults do not need the level of care that a residential care home (RCH) or an assisted-living residence (ALR) provides, and often fear that any housing move will lead to the loss of control over their housing or care, especially if they cannot reside in their preferred living environment.

JSI, in collaboration with the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Foundation, researched, evaluated and helped establish medication assistance best practices to be implemented within unlicensed congregate housing to support aging in place. JSI and the ASCP Foundation developed a set of best practices that can be implemented in phases in Vermont as resources become available and/or policy and systems barriers are addressed and modified to support these practices.


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