Older adults are living and working longer, redefining later life and enriching our communities. The future of healthcare requires bold approaches that value older adults, address their unique needs and provide them with the best care possible.
This is why Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) has joined Age-Friendly Health Systems, an initiative led by The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States. It's a movement to deliver safe, reliable, high-quality healthcare in every setting based on what matters most to older adults as individuals.
As part of the Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community, we are testing and implementing a set of evidence-based interventions proven as the essential initial elements needed to provide older patients better care. We call them the "4Ms".
The 4Ms of an Age-Friendly Health System
Understanding what each patient's health goals and care preferences are across settings to know and align care, including (but not limited to) end of life.
If medications are necessary, using age-friendly medications that do not interfere with What Matters, Mentation, or Mobility.
Preventing, identifying, treating and managing dementia, depression and delirium across care settings.
Ensuring that older adults move safely every day to maintain function and do What Matters to them.
A Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Team (CGA) is available to develop a plan of care with the approval and support of primary care physicians. Currently, CGA team members consist of a gerontologist or a social worker, physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, exercise therapists, speech therapists, a pharmacist, and a dietitian.
Currently CGA team members are involved in the following programs offered through Perry County Health System.
The Rapid Geriatric Assessment (RGA) is a screening tool developed by the Geriatrics Division of Saint Louis University. The RGA includes assessment of frailty, nutrition, loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) and cognitive function. It is part of the HRSA-funded Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP) to improve the health of older Missourians by training primary care health providers in geriatric medicine.
This assessment is intended to assist primary physicians in developing diagnoses and management plans for common geriatric problems. The assessment allows physicians to do this in a quick, comprehensive manner.
Circle of Friends® was developed by scholars/practitioners at the Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged at Helsinki University in the early 2000s. It is a group rehabilitation model for older people who experience loneliness from time to time or perhaps every day. The aim is to alleviate and prevent loneliness. The intervention is led by a trained mental health provider.
A group of 5 to 8 older adults meet 12 times in 3 months, and the purpose of the group is for the participants to:
- Make new friends.
- Feel less lonely.
- Share the feelings of loneliness.
- Do and experience meaningful things together with other group members.
- Help the groups to become self-supportive and encourage them to continue meeting on their own.
- A group-based, goal-oriented intervention in which participants are allowed to influence the content of the meetings.
- Combined with CST sessions and those identified or at risk for sarcopenia and frailty.
- Group sessions have up to 10 to 12 participants, depending on cognitive and physical function.
- Program researched, developed and led by certified personal trainers.
- Weekly sessions are 20 to 30 minute durations, increasing in intensity.
Outcomes: functional measures performed at baseline show high risk for falls and deconditioning. Average at 3 months within normal range continued at 6 months and 1 and 2 years.
Awards and Recognition
Recognized by the Institute of Health Care Improvement
2018 Missouri Hospital Association "Aim for Excellence" Award Winner