On the subject of chronic diseases, older adults are often the experts, hands down, with up to three out of four seniors affected by multiple conditions that are ongoing, call for long-term medical attention, and place limitations on activities. With the never-ending barrage of bloodwork and other medical tests, physicians’ appointments and procedures and medications, chronic disease management often takes both a physical and emotional toll, and may very quickly become overwhelming.
Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, said, “Once you get three, four, or five and six diseases, several things happen: Number one, almost guaranteed, trying to get one of these diseases under control is going to make one of the other diseases worse. Number two: The more we ask people to do, the more overwhelmed they get and the less they are likely to do.”
For these reasons, Dr. Tinetti has developed the Patient Priorities Care approach, with the objective to decrease the burden of treatment by empowering patients to communicate their personal health care goals – identifying what truly matters most to them. A plan of care will then be created to successfully meet those goals. For example, one person’s goal could possibly be to enhance quality of life during the short-term, whereas another individual may seek to improve longevity of life. Furthermore, it takes under consideration activities the individual enjoys and how to find the easiest way for him or her to continue to take part in them.
The Patient Priorities Care method builds upon the Minimally Disruptive Medicine strategy developed a decade ago, which also strives to help remedy the stress of chronic condition treatment, but which did not contain the key facet of incorporating feedback from patients to understand what means the most to them.
Ultimately, what many seniors discover is that they prefer to lessen “unwanted care,” which they understand requires significantly more personal energy than the benefit they are going to receive, such as diagnostic tests and procedures. To that end, aging adults and their loved ones can make the most of these beneficial resources to get more successful, self-directed care, such as a conversation guide, overview of health priorities, and much more.
As the most trusted provider of home nursing care in Salt Lake City and the surrounding areas, Harmony Home Health & Hospice is completely dedicated to understanding what is most essential to the older adults in our care, and to offering the degree of care which helps them to flourish and attain their goals. It is why our care is fully personalized, and always starts with learning as much as possible about each individual and what his or her goals encompass – and then developing a plan of care to help reach those goals. Call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) to learn more.