The translation of effective treatments for obesity and diabetes management into clinical care has been slow. However, self-management education and counselling regarding diet and physical activity can improve weight, blood glucose, and lipid levels, and blood pressure control among older adults with type 2 diabetes. A collaborative approach to counselling is more effective than simply lecturing in promoting and sustaining behaviour change. The five A’s to behavioural counselling—assess, advise, agree, assist, and arrange—provide a model for care. A key component of the five A’s for counselling is the development of an action plan that specifies goals and implementation intentions for behaviour change.
Key words: type 2 diabetes mellitus, older adults, behavioural research, patient education, behavioural therapy.
The number of over-the-counter (OTC) medications is increasing as more prescription medications are being switched to OTC status. Many older adults rely on self-management of medications to treat common medical conditions such as the common cold, pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Although OTC medications are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada, many people are unaware of proper dosing, side effects, adverse drug reactions, and possible medication interactions that may not be clearly labelled. This article reviews the major side effects of common OTC medications and how to recognize these adverse effects, and provides health care professionals with information to offer to older adults and their caregivers about safe OTC medication use.
Key words: over-the-counter, self-medication, older adults, side effects, patient education.
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