Regarding chronic diseases, seniors are usually the experts, hands down, with as many as three out of four older persons impacted by a number of conditions that are ongoing, require extensive medical attention, and put limitations on activities. With the continuous barrage of bloodwork and other exams, physicians’ appointments and procedures and medications, chronic disease care management often takes both a physical and emotional toll, and that can quickly become daunting.
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 established the Patient Priorities Care approach, with the goal of decreasing the burden of treatment by empowering patients to share their personal medical care goals – identifying what matters most to them. A plan of care is then created to best meet those goals. For instance, one person’s goal may be to enhance quality of life during the short-term, whereas someone else may seek to improve longevity of life. It also takes into account experiences a senior loved one enjoys and how to discover the best way for him or her to continue to engage in them.
The Patient Priorities Care method builds upon the Minimally Disruptive Medicine strategy developed about ten years ago, which also strives to help remedy the burden of chronic condition treatment, but which did not include the key component of incorporating input from patients to be aware of what means the most to them.
Ultimately, what many older adults recognize is they want to minimize “unwanted care,” which they understand requires significantly more personal energy than the benefit they will likely receive; for instance, diagnostic tests and treatments. To that end, senior citizens and their loved ones can take advantage of these valuable resources for much more effective, self-directed care, such as a conversation guide, summary of health goals, and so much more.
At Advanced Home Health Care, top provider of home care and rehabilitation services Burlington, IA families trust, we are totally devoted to understanding what is most significant to the older adults in our care, and to supplying the amount of care which helps them to flourish and attain their goals. It is why our care is fully personalized, and always starts off with discovering as much as possible about every individual and what his/her goals entail – and then developing a chronic disease care management plan that can help attain those goals. Contact us online or call us at 800.791.7785 for more information about our senior care services and all of the communities that we serve.