On the subject of chronic diseases, seniors are usually the experts, hands down, with up to three out of four older persons affected by several conditions that are ongoing, necessitate long-term medical attention, and place limits on activities. With the never-ending barrage of bloodwork along with other tests, physicians’ appointments and procedures and medications, chronic diseases care often takes both a physical and emotional toll, and can very 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 established the Patient Priorities Care approach, with the goal to lessen the stress of treatment by empowering patients to share their personal medical care goals – identifying what truly matters most to them. A plan of care will then be created to successfully meet those goals. For instance, one person’s goal might be to boost quality of life during the short-term, whereas another individual may seek to increase longevity of life. In addition, it takes into account activities the individual enjoys and how to find a way for him or her to continue to take part in them.
The Patient Priorities Care method builds upon the Minimally Disruptive Medicine strategy created a decade ago, which also aims to ease the stress of chronic disease care, but which did not encompass the key aspect of integrating insight from patients to know what means the most to them.
Ultimately, what many seniors determine is that they want to minimize “unwanted care,” which they believe requires a lot more effort than the benefit they are going to receive, such as diagnostic tests and procedures. To that end, aging adults and their families can draw on these helpful resources for much more effective, self-directed chronic disease care, such as a conversation guide, overview of health goals, and much more.
At Effraim Home Care, the top providers of in home care Haverford, PA and the surrounding areas trust, we are fully invested in understanding what is most important to the seniors in our care, and to offering the amount of care that can help them to flourish and achieve their goals. It’s why our care is highly personalized, and always begins with discovering as much as possible about each individual and what his or her goals entail – and then developing a plan of care to help attain those goals. Contact us online or give us a call at (215) 826-7422 to find out more.