Increased age is a major risk factor for impaired wound healing.
Chronic wounds are a major world health problem. In the United States alone chronic wounds affect more than 6.5 million patients with an excess of $25 billion being spent annually on treatment, according to the National Institutes of Health. Those numbers are rapidly growing due largely to an increase in health care costs, an aging population, and a dramatic rise in the incidence of diabetes and obesity.
A Health Care Burden
The care of chronic wounds, in particular diabetic ulcers, pressure ulcers, and arterial ulcers, places a significant burden on the patient and the health care system. Although billions of dollars are spent each year on the treatment of chronic wounds, many of these wounds don’t heal in an appropriate timeframe. The longer it takes for a wound to heal, the greater the likelihood of dangerous complications such as infection, bacteremia, and sepsis, which often lead to amputation and death. More than 185,000 new amputations are performed each year in this country, with the prevalence rate highest among people age 65 and older. Read more
Families often need help navigating the many services available for their loved ones.
Geriatric care managers are becoming a necessary resource for families that are caring for elderly loved ones. These professionals help families and other caregivers coordinate the care of elderly persons who have physical and/or mental impairments, helping them to meet their long terms care needs, improve their quality of life and maintain their independence for as long as possible.
Typically, geriatric care managers have prior extensive training in nursing, social work, gerontology or another health field and use this expertise to help manage, provide and refer various types of health and social care services. They serve as an advocate for their clients throughout the continuum of care.
For example, families tasked with managing the care of a loved one who has a chronic disease such as congestive heart failure or a form of dementia like Alzheimer’s disease often need help navigating the spectrum of services – including health, financial, and legal – available to them. Read more