- November 25th 2011
More than a third of the people paid to care for seniors are not health literate, and 60% wrongly interpret the instructions on prescription labels, a study says.
Caregivers often are hired by families to help care for seniors with cognitive loss, dementia or Alzheimer's disease and who have trouble performing daily activities such as toileting, bathing, cooking and shopping. This makes it especially important that caregivers have the ability to understand health-related instructions, said Lee A. Lindquist, MD, MPH, lead author of the study published in May's Journal of General Internal Medicine (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21161420/).
Caregivers' poor health literacy skills can affect patient care, said Dr. Lindquist, a geriatrician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
"Many times, I see patients cared for by caregivers. They come with the senior to the doctor's visit," she said. "You can't really tell the senior information because they have cognitive issues that do [Read more]