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What Is an Age-Friendly Health System?

​​​​​An Age-Friendly Health System is one in which every older adult:
  • Gets the best care possible;
  • Experiences no health care-related harms; and
  • Is satisfied with the health care they receive.
In an Age-Friendly Health System, value is optimized for all — patients, families, caregivers, health care providers, and the overall system.

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. 

IHI Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community

April–October 2019

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4Ms Framework for Age-Friendly Care

4Ms.pngThe four essential elements of an Age-Friendly Health System​ are known as the 4Ms Framework for Age-Friendly Care:

  • 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 medications 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 care settings.
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.​​