How Seniors with Chronic Health Conditions Are Being Empowered to Take Control

How Seniors with Chronic Health Conditions Are Being Empowered to Take Control

On the subject of chronic health conditions, seniors are the experts, hands down, with nearly 3 out of 4 seniors impacted by several conditions that are ongoing, call for long-term medical attention, and put limitations on activities. With the continuous barrage of bloodwork and other exams, doctors’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic diseases takes both a physical and emotional toll, and may very quickly become daunting.

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 established the Patient Priorities Care approach, with the goal to lessen the burden of treatment by empowering patients to share their personal health care goals – determining what truly matters most to them. A plan of care is then created to best meet those goals. As an example, one individual's goal may be to boost total well-being during the short-term, while someone else may seek to increase longevity of life. It also takes into consideration activities the individual enjoys and exactly how to locate a way for her or him 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 aims to relieve the burden of chronic health condition treatment, but which did not contain the key component of considering input from patients to know what means the most to them. 

Ultimately, what many older adults ascertain is that they wish to cut down on “unwanted care,” which they believe requires significantly more effort than the benefits they're going to receive; for instance, diagnostic tests and procedures. To that end, older adults and their loved ones can utilize these beneficial resources to get more successful, self-directed care, such as a discussion guide, overview of health priorities, and much more. 

At Amy’s Helping Hands, our Windsor-Essex senior care team is completely devoted to understanding what is most important to the older adults in our care, and to providing the level of care that assists them to flourish and reach their goals. It’s why our care is extremely personalized, and always starts off with discovering as much as possible about each individual and what his / her goals entail – and then developing a plan of care that can help accomplish those goals. Call us at 519.915.4370 for more information.