Aging patient discusses medication with nurse

How Patients Are Being Empowered to Take Control of Chronic Condition Management

Aging patient discusses medication with nurse

The latest approach to chronic condition management is patient-driven.

On the subject of chronic diseases, the elderly are the experts, hands down, with nearly 3 out of 4 older persons dealing with ongoing chronic condition management. With the constant barrage of bloodwork as well as other medical tests, doctors’ appointments and procedures, and medications, controlling chronic diseases usually takes both a physical and emotional toll, and can quickly become overwhelming.

Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, explains, “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 goal to reduce 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. As an example, one individual’s goal may perhaps be to improve total well-being in the short-term, whereas another individual may seek to improve longevity of life. Furthermore, it takes into account activities the individual enjoys and how to find a means for her or him to continue to engage in them.

The Patient Priorities Care method builds upon the Minimally Disruptive Medicine strategy developed a decade ago, which also strives to alleviate the burden of chronic condition management issues, but which did not encompass the key component of incorporating input from patients to know what means the most for them.

Ultimately, many seniors choose to reduce “unwanted care,” which they believe requires a lot more than the benefit they are going to receive, such as from diagnostic tests and procedures. To that end, older adults and their loved ones can utilize these valuable resources for more effective, self-directed care, including a discussion guide, summary of health goals, and much more.

At Harmony Home Health & Hospice, we are fully devoted to learning what is most critical to the seniors in our care, and to giving the amount of care that can help them to flourish and reach their goals. It’s why our home health care services are highly customized, and always starts off with learning as much as possible about each individual and what his / her goals encompass – and then developing a plan of care that can help accomplish those goals. Reach out to the experts in home health and hospice care Salt Lake City families trust the most at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE.

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