Angela Jones

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Improving the management of asthma in older adults

Older people with asthma are a discrete patient group that requires specialist nursing skills and knowledge. They have specific and sometimes hidden needs that will affect their quality of life unless these are addressed by caring and competent nurses who have an interest in asthma. It is necessary to focus on both asthma and ageing to help older people achieve good asthma outcomes. This article discusses the complex physical, social and psychological issues affecting people with asthma aged 64 or older, age-related risk factors for poor control, age-related barriers to assessment and treatment, the scope of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches, and principal treatment outcomes. Providing high quality services and information will equip older people to manage their asthma more effectively, attain physical and mental wellbeing, and lead to fewer hospitalisations and fatal episodes in this group.