Age-Friendly Health Care: What Patients Need and Deserve
Older adults are living and working longer, redefining later life, and enriching our communities. The future of health care requires bold approaches that value older adults, address their unique needs, and provide them with the best care possible. Improving the way we care for older adults also makes good business sense for hospitals and health systems: Delivering better care to older adults in every setting can help us achieve fewer avoidable hospital readmissions, better outcomes, more satisfied patients and families, and lower overall costs.
This is why SUNY Downstate has joined Age-Friendly Health Systems, an initiative led by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States. It’s a movement to deliver safe, reliable, high-quality health care in every setting based on what matters most to older adults as individuals.
As part of the Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community, SUNY Downstate is testing and implementing a set of evidence-based interventions proven as the essential initial elements needed to provide older patients better care. We call them the “4Ms”:
- What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult's specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, but not limited to, end-of-life care, and across settings of care.
- Medication: If medication is necessary, use Age-Friendly medication that do not interfere with What Matters to the older adult, Mobility, or Mentation across settings of care.
- Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across settings of care.
- Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.