Every day in the US 10,000 people turn 65. The number of adults over the age of 65 is projected to double over the next 25 years. Approximately, 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease and 77% have at least two.
Older adults have higher rates of health care utilization compared to other age groups, and many of our health systems are ill-equipped to deal with the social complexity that many older adults face. They also experience higher rates of health care related harm, delay, and dis-coordination. A consequence of this harm, delay, and dis-coordination has led to older adults using the emergency department (ED) four times more than younger populations.
The 4Ms and Age-Friendly Health Systems
The 4Ms are the essential elements of high-quality care for older adults and, when implemented together, indicate a broad shift by health systems to focus on the needs of older adults.
Most health systems are practicing the 4Ms with some older adults, some of the time. The 4Ms are:
- What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, 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, mentation, or mobility;
- Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across settings of care; and
- Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day to maintain function and do what matters to them.
Get a team together for this action-focused, virtual team training starting February 5, 2019 and learn how to try and integrate the 4Ms into care every day, with every older adult in your health system.