Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2012 Contents Australian Pharmacist May 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 349
deaths in 1989 to the latest toll of 416 in
2010, Dr Whitby fears the recent rise in
asthma deaths in children could be a sign
parents are becoming too complacent.
'Asthma can be fatal so all carers need to
be vigilant and ensure they have an up to
date written asthma action plan for their
child and schedule regular reviews with
their doctor,' she said.
More than two million Australians have
asthma -- one of the highest prevalence
rates in the world. The National Asthma
Council Australia is also urging all
Australians to ensure they are familiar
with the correct rst aid steps to help a
child having an asthma attack, given that
one in 10 Australian children has asthma.
The Council's recently launched Kids' First
Aid for Asthma chart can be downloaded
from the National Asthma Council
Australia website: www.nationalasthma.
org.au -- just click the red 'Emergency' tab
on the home page.
Forced into exile
Researchers at Charles Sturt University
(CSU) have found that people often
experience social disconnection,
loneliness, and desperation when
residential aged care is inaccessible to
them in their rural communities.
Their study ndings arise from research
in 2010 and have been published in an
article, Forced into exile: the traumatising
impact of rural aged care service
inaccessibility in the online journal,
Rural and Remote Health.
The study's, lead author, Dr Maree
Bernoth, a lecturer and researcher at
the CSU School of Nursing, Midwifery
and Indigenous Health in Wagga Wagga
said, 'This has profound implications for
individuals and their families, government
policy, and care provision practice.
We acknowledge the limitations of the
study -- a relatively small sample of 21,
and only from rural NSW -- but it points
to the need for more comprehensive
nationwide research into the impacts of
the failure to provide residential aged
care for many elderly people in their rural
home communities,' she said.
The authors noted that the greatest aged
population growth is in non-metropolitan
areas and is expected to increase, with a
of 280,000 aged
places by 2050.
ndings are derived
with the family of
residents in aged residential facilities and
the carer community, as we considered it
to be unethical to interview the residents
themselves because of the potential
to exacerbate their distress because
other research shows a clear preference
by the aged to remain in their home
communities,' Dr Bernoth said.
'The participants we interviewed all had
an aged loved one in residential care at
least an hour's drive from their home
community, and some were several
hundred kilometres and several hours'
drive from their family home.
Because admission to aged care
residential facilities often happens
directly after discharge from hospital, this
distressed the aged person who may not
understand where they are being taken
and why they cannot go home.
Distance also places a considerable
burden on family members, including the
nancial costs of travelling, and in some
cases, staying in motels overnight as part
of the visit journey.
'Participants most often referred to the
notion or feeling of their aged loved one
being 'in exile', with the attendant loss of
social contact and connection, isolation
and loneliness, factors known to worsen
psychological health and wellbeing, and,
in some cases, hasten death. Reports of
attempts to escape by the aged residents
'We emphasise that when rural residential
aged care places are inaccessible in a
person's home community, the sense of
exile is felt not only by the person moving
away, but also by their family, friends and
community. For this reason, we urge that
rural residential aged care service delivery
should be based on the identi ed needs
of the older person and those who love
and care for them'.
Cost delays dental visits
Almost 60% of adult Australians
visited the dentist in the year before a
national dental survey was conducted
but one in three said they avoided or
delayed dental visits because of the
cost, according to Oral health and use
of dental services: Findings from the
National Dental Telephone Interview
Survey 2008, a new Australian Institute
of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report.
Among dentate adults (those with at
least one or more natural teeth) who
visited in the previous 12 months,
about 56% went for a dental check
and 44% for a dental problem at their
most recent visit. Only one in ve who
made a dental visit in the previous
year said that cost prevented them
undergoing recommended treatment.
Australians with a Commonwealth
Concession card were more likely than
non-cardholders to have avoided or
delayed visiting a dentist because of
cost, to have cost prevent them from
having recommended treatment,
and to have had di culty in paying a
$150 dental bill.
Pharmacists are more con dent about
the future viability of their profession
than could be expected with most
nominating a service orientation
strategy as the foundation of that
viability according to a newly launched
measure of community pharmacy
con dence -- the Pharmacy Barometer
-- a partnership between the University
of Technology, Sydney and Cegedim
Strategic Data. The Barometer will be
a twice-yearly reading of perceptions,
attitudes, knowledge, experiences and
behaviours of community pharmacists
relating to the future of professional
practice, community pharmacy
business as well as topical issues.
The Barometer research showed that
many community pharmacists want to
move towards service, especially fee
for service, to reduce their dependence
on the government.
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