Age-Friendly Health Care: A New Approach

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America’s senior population has grown by 34.2% in the last 10 years, with about 54 million Americans aged 65-plus. Many seniors take multiple medications, see multiple doctors annually, and have at least one chronic health condition. A study found that one in five seniors experienced age discrimination from their doctors or during hospital visits. The Age-Friendly Health Systems recommends that doctors and nurses plan care for older adults based on their personal goals and preferences, including asking about what matters to them and how they want to live their life. Health care providers need to listen more to the preferences and goals of older adults and include the 4Ms in the care of older patients: What matters, Medications, Mobility, and Mentation. Finally, many doctors and nurses do not always consider age when treating seniors or include the 4Ms in care, and more training is needed for health care providers to effectively meet the needs of older adults.

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