Study: Half of Geriatric Patients Need Help Making Major Decisions

Nearly fifty percent of adults 65 and over needed help making decisions within two days of hospital admission, according to research from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers analyzed data on nearly 1,600 geriatric patients hospitalized for at least 48 hours between 2008 and 2011. About 68 percent of patients faced a major medical decision during their hospitalization. While half of these were able to make decisions along, one-quarter conferred with a surrogate, and surrogates made all decisions for the remaining 25 percent.

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According to the report, most patients with surrogates were in general, rather than intensive care, units.

Researches this knowledge reinforces the need to better support surrogate decision-makers in hospital settings.

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