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What Is an Age-Friendly Health System?

​​​​​​​​​​An Age-Friendly Health System is one in which every older adult’s care:

  • Is guided by an essential set of evidence-based practices (the 4Ms);
  • Causes no harms; and
  • Is consistent with What Maters to the older adult and their family.
Learn more about the 4Ms and becoming an Age-Friendly Health System in the Guide to Using the 4Ms in the Care of Older Adults.

Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). The goal of the initiative is to rapidly spread the 4Ms Framework to 20 percent of US hospitals and medical practices by 2020. 


4Ms Framework of an Age-Friendly Health System

4Ms.pngFour essential elements comprise the "4Ms" Framework of an Age-Friendly Health System​:

  • What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult's specific health outcome goals and care preferences in​clu​ding, but not limited to, end-of-life care, and across settings of care.
  • Medication: If medication is necessary, use Age-Friendly medication that do not interfere with What Matters to the older adult, Mobility, or Mentation across settings of care.
  • Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across settings of care.​
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.​​