How to Create an Age-Friendly Health Systems?


 An age-friendly healthcare system has become an urgent need. More than forty-six million American citizens are sixty-five years old and above, and this number will double by 2060.

Today, a ton of adults suffer from more than one chronic disease, and they are subject to take a couple of medications to survive. Additionally, several people that fall within this age bracket live with fears as they transition from an independent living style to a dependent style of living.

And that is why The John A. Hartford Foundation, together with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, has partnered with the Catholic Health Association of the United States to bring about an age-friendly health initiative.

The primary objective of this initiative is to create awareness about the 4Ms framework to twenty percent of the United States medical facilities by 2020.

In this post, we're going to walk you through different steps instructed by our Master's in Healthcare Administration professors, on how you can create an age-friendly health system. Let's get started. 

Age-Friendly Health Systems - 4Ms 

What matters: You need to make sure that older people's health outcomes are aligned together.

Medications: It is advisable that you give medications, if necessary, and that the medications you offer must not affect what matters, mobility, as well as mentation.

Mentations: You need to take prevention measures, identify and use proper treatment methods against depression, dementia, among other diseases.

Mobility: Older people must move safely to ensure that they carry out what matters most to them. 

How to Create an Age-Friendly Health System? 

1. Improve care for older adults 

Elderly care benefits

The elderly should be given the necessary caregiver services. Ensure that they get the best home care from home care agencies, as well as the Geriatric Care Managers.

Additionally, you need to make sure that the elderly are much informed because it is the best way to counter care resistance. The good news is that you can get support from a therapist or a counselor.

Finally, you can inquire from your employer about the Employee Assistance Program if they offer compensation for the time you spend taking care of your parents.

Meet their health care wishes

This one is important. It is crucial to ensure that healthcare directives are implemented in order. It doesn't matter whether it is an order from the Advance Directive for Healthcare or a Physician's Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment - make sure they are well-implemented.

By doing this, you will eliminate the confusion and ensure that the elderly's care wishes are met. The best of all is that this will make the older people worry less when they are ill and also give them the encouragement that they can manage stress effectively.

Emphasize on quality care and life

You need to make sure that seniors are feed well and coordinate their meal preparations. Also, you need to ensure that they find time to get out into the community and spend time with the rest as much as they want.

Finally, ensure that their medications are well taken care of, to help them focus on living a happy life rather than managing diseases and other stresses. 

2. Employ strategies to ensure an age-friendly health system 

 Monitor and treat depression

Reports state that people aged sixty-five and above suffer from depression and that could be as a result of them losing a spouse or due to retirement. Additionally, these groups of people could suffer from a variety of diseases.

That said, you must consult a psychiatrist to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of depression. This will help you seek quick medical attention if you notice any of the stated signs and symptoms in your patient.

Remind them that we value them

We all want to feel we exist and that we are essential, and this applies to the elderly too. It is, therefore, vital that you make the elderly feel more useful and needed in society.

One of the greatest fears of older people is to feel they are a burden. So, to ensure that they don't think that way, make sure that they contribute to the household's tasks. In other words, make them feel important and that they are still much needed.

Keep them connected

The elderly will feel lonely and isolated, especially if they can't go wherever they want. In reality, they should have the freedom to move. To do this, you can organize for a family get together either virtually or in person gathering.

3. Prepare the aged to deal with anxiety during pandemics, such as COVID-19 

Encourage them to ask questions

The novel Coronavirus is one of the deadliest pandemics the world is dealing with now, and it's no secret that the elderly are finding it hard to cope up during these hard times.

That said, you must encourage the elderly to be open to ask questions that will assess how they feel. This will help you know how best you can drive away their fears.

You can initiate the conversation by asking them a few questions such as, "how do you feel about the current pandemic?" "Are you prepared to handle it on your own?" "What are your thoughts?"

Discourage them from procrastinating

Anxiety can push the elderly to major in the minor, which shouldn't be the case. Dr. Lerner says, "So we either engage in compulsive hand washing, or we do the opposite and act like the germ theory doesn't apply to us."

So instead of procrastinating, it is better if you encourage the elderly to keep implementing the precautionary measures put in place by the experts. Dr. Lerner adds, "Passivity and inaction will make fear grow." 

In Conclusion 

The healthcare industry is indeed growing daily, and an aging population will keep the demand for healthcare services. And this growth needs more health professionals who can meet the demand posed by the elderly.

As such, you should pursue careers in healthcare and the first step to take is enrolling in a Master's degree in Healthcare Administration Program

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