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Great news: people are living longer. Bad news: the length of time they have to live with poor physical, mental and cognitive health is expanding.

It’s easy to forget, but in the 1940s, the average man lived for just 10 months after retirement. Now our patients can expect and enjoy many more years but sadly the last 5 to 10 are often dogged by infirmity and poor health.

  • Virtually all our older patients have multiple long-term conditions (multimorbidity) yet are often managed according to evidence based on single diseases.
  • Polypharmacy follows multimorbidity like night follows day, placing a massive burden on both patients and their doctors.
  • Polypharmacy for some patients can be appropriate and improve both quality and quantity of life, but adverse drug reactions in this group are common and often trigger hospital admissions.
  • Tied in with these issues in older people is frailty. Being ‘frail’ is no longer just an adjective, as frailty is now recognised as a medical syndrome in it’s own right.

These are complex and vitally important issues for GPs who shoulder the burden of looking after our frail and elderly patients.

So, how should we manage such patients better? How do we rationalise and optimise medication? How do we recognise and manage frailty?

In this free webinar

Dr Simon Curtis from NB Medical UK, and A/Prof Stephen Barnett, both practicing GPs with a passion for medical education, have a look at this single topic. They discuss some cases and recent evidence and guidelines which change the way we think about this fascinating and complex group of patients to help answer the ultimate question: how can we help this most vulnerable group of patients to live better lives?

Our Hot Topics series, localised from the highly successful UK series, covers many topics like this in 1-day live workshops. Read more about the workshop series here.