Older people's experience of utilisation and administration of medicines in a health- and social care context

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Abstract

Background:

People living at home who lack ability to manage their medicine are entitled to assistance to improve adherence provided by a home care assistant employed by social care.

Aim:

The aim was to describe how older people with chronic diseases, living at home, experience the use and assistance of administration of medicines in the context of social care.

Design:

A qualitative descriptive study.

Methods:

Ten participants (age 65+) living at home were interviewed in the participants' own homes. Latent content analysis was used.

Findings:

The assistance eases daily life with regard to practical matters and increases adherence to a medicine regimen. There were mixed feelings about being dependent on assistance; it interferes with self-sufficiency at a time of health transition. Participants were balancing empowerment and a dubious perception of the home care assistants' knowledge of medicine and safety. Physicians' and district nurses' professional knowledge was a safety guarantee for the medicine process.

Conclusions:

Assistance eases daily life and medicine regimen adherence. Dependence on assistance may affect self-sufficiency. Perceived safety varied relating to home care assistants' knowledge of medicine.

Relevance to Clinical Practice:

A well-functioning medicine assistance is crucial to enable older people to remain at home. A person-centred approach to health- and social care delivery is efficient and improve outcome for the recipient of care.

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