The Latest Approach to Chronic Care Services: Empowering Patients to Take Control

Aging patient discusses medication with nurse
Chronic care services can help empower senior patients to take control.

Regarding chronic diseases, seniors are the experts, hands down, with as many as 3 out of four seniors affected by several conditions that are on-going, necessitate extensive treatment, and put limitations on activities. With the continuous barrage of bloodwork along with other medical tests, doctors’ appointments and procedures, and medications, controlling chronic diseases can take both a physical and emotional toll, and might quickly become stressful.

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 minimize the burden of treatment by empowering patients to communicate their personal medical care goals – determining what truly matters most to them. A plan of care is then created to successfully achieve those goals. For example, one individual's goal could possibly be to enhance quality of life during the short-term, while another person may seek to improve longevity of life. It also takes into consideration activities the individual enjoys and how to discover the easiest way for her or him to continue to engage in them.

The Patient Priorities Care method builds upon the Minimally Disruptive Medicine strategy established about ten years ago, that also strives to help remedy the burden of chronic condition treatment, but which did not feature the key component of introducing input from patients to be aware of what means the absolute most for them.

Ultimately, what many older adults ascertain is they choose to limit “unwanted care,” which they believe requires more effort than the benefits they will receive, for example, diagnostic tests and treatments. To that end, senior citizens and their loved ones can utilize these beneficial resources for more successful, self-directed care, such as a discussion guide, summary of health goals, and even more.

At Midnight Sun Home Care, we’re completely invested in discovering what is most significant to the seniors in our care, and to providing the level of in-home care that can help them to thrive and reach their goals. It is why our care is highly personalized, and always starts off with understanding as much as possible about each individual and what his or her goals encompass – and then developing a plan of care that can help achieve those goals. Contact us at (907) 677-7890 if you’re interested in a personal care assistant Alaska seniors deserve.


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