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Concern for older asthma patients

31 October 2012 09:30

Scotland has more than 54,000 asthma sufferers aged 65 and over

Scotland has more than 54,000 asthma sufferers aged 65 and over

Older asthma sufferers in Scotland have been branded the 'The Forgotten Generation' by research that suggests the service they get from the NHS may not be as good as that offered to younger patients.

Asthma UK's report found that patients over the age of 65 were expected to put up with their coughing, wheezing and other symptoms and sometimes left to find their own remedies. Following a year of research with 30 patients in the Lothians area, The Forgotten Generation report said healthcare professionals and older people themselves might have "low expectations of asthmas services" for the age group. Asthma UK's policy officer Elaine Carnegie said: "This research shows a far higher proportion of people with asthma develop the condition in adulthood than is commonly believed, and healthcare professionals can find it more difficult to diagnose in later life."

Although asthma is often more associated with childhood, adults can develop it. Scotland has some 54,000 sufferers over 65. Holidaymakers with the condition can take out asthma travel insurance policies in case they require treatment abroad. Research into the NHS care older patients get from the NHS began after the charity's leaflet on managing the condition proved a hit in care homes.