Addressing the Unique Care Needs of Older Adults
There is an urgent need for age-friendly healthcare – over 1.5 million of the 7.7 million adults in Michigan are over the age of 65, according to current census data. In addition, many older adults have more than one chronic disease and take multiple medications. These have implications for the healthcare system unprepared to care for complexities of advanced age, medical care and treatment. Health systems must adopt evidence-based models and delivery care practices that meet the needs and preferences of older adults not only across the care continuum but also across the continuum of life.
To address this matter, The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) created the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative. The goal of the initiative is to rapidly spread an evidence-based practice, known as the 4Ms Framework, to 20% of U.S. hospitals and medical practices by 2020.
What Does it Mean to be Age-Friendly?
Becoming an Age-Friendly Health System entails reliably providing a set of four evidence-based elements of high-quality care, known as the “4Ms,” to all older adults in your system: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility.
Michigan Caregiver Navigation ToolKit
The MHA Keystone Center is committed to supporting its member hospitals to ensure that every person in every community receives high-quality, equitable and safe care. The Michigan Caregiver Navigation Toolkit was created to help hospitals and health systems implement and maintain a caregiver navigation program – designed to support caregivers in their role by providing connections, support and education.
Approximately half of all caregivers report their care recipient being hospitalized in the past year. Yet, half of informal caregivers have never performed medical or nursing tasks before, and most do not have time to prepare themselves for their caregiving role. Healthcare systems can play a key role in preparing caregivers for their roles. However, the COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges as caregivers were often kept out of appointments and hospital visits for safety, losing their ability to ask questions, advocate and observationally learn at the bedside.
The Michigan Caregiver Navigation Toolkit is meant to serve as a resource for healthcare staff looking to develop or improve the caregiver navigation program across their system. Although caregiving is relevant across all age groups, this toolkit is primarily intended for use on adults aged 18 years or older, with a special focus on older adults. The toolkit allows users to assess current structures to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement in caregiver support. It also provides guidance to create actionable plans for program development and expansion.
Scaling up Age-Friendly Health Systems through Action Communities
As a patient safety and quality organization committed to better outcomes, the MHA Keystone Center is committed to supporting health systems in providing the best care possible for all older adults. The center has launched two state-based Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Communities, which enable healthcare teams to accelerate reliable practice of the 4Ms in an active community of learners and testers. Over the course of an Action Community, teams have access to “4Ms” subject matter experts, collaborate in webinars and peer coaching calls and develop their plan for practicing the 4Ms.
The second MHA Keystone Center Action Community concluded in October 2021, with over 20 sites from different care settings participating statewide.
Michigan Healthcare Organizations Receive National Recognition
The IHI recognizes clinical care settings that are working toward reliable implementation of the 4Ms. As of October 2021, more than 60 Michigan sites have earned level 1 (Participant) or level 2 (Committed to Care Excellence) recognition in the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement.
- Level 1 (Participant) teams have successfully developed plans to implement the 4Ms.
- Level 2 (Committed to Care Excellence) teams have three months of verified data to demonstrate the early impact of using the 4Ms.
The MHA Keystone Center would like to congratulate and recognize the following Michigan-based organizations that received the Level 2 recognition by IHI, indicating exemplary alignment with the elements of the 4Ms Framework by reporting the number of older adults reached with the 4Ms over at least a three-month time period. For a comprehensive list of sites, visit the IHI’s website.
- Beaumont Hospital, Dearborn
- Bronson LakeView Hospital
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Albany Health & Rehabilitation Center
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Bronson Commons
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Brookdale Battle Creek
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Brookdale Portage Mi
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Caretel Inns of Lakeland
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Cass County Medical Care
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Chalet of Niles
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Chesterton Manor
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Douglas Cove
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Edgewood Health and Rehab
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Evergreen Manor MI
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Fairview Nursing and Rehab
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Grace Healthcare of Three Rivers
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Greenwood Health and Living
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Hallmark Living of Benton Harbor
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Heartland Healthcare Care Center
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Journey Senior Living Valpo
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Maplewood of Marshall
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Masonville Place
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Medilodge of Kalamazoo
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Medilodge of Portage
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Medilodge of Westwood
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group North Woods Village at Kokomo
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Pine Ridge Michigan
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Riveridge Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Signature Healthcare of Bluffton
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group SKLD Care
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group The Oaks at NorthPointe Woods
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical GroupThe Willows AL
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Twin Cities Nursing and Rehab
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group West Woods of Bridgman
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group West Woods of Niles
- Helen Newberry Joy Hospital and Healthcare Center Gibson Family Health Clinic
- Hurley Medical Center
- Ingham County Medical Care Facility
- Marlette Regional Hospital
- McKenzie Health Systems McKenzie Professional Group
- ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital
- Sparrow Carson City Hospital
- Sparrow Ionia Hospital
- Spectrum Health Medical Group – Geriatrics
- Mary Mercy Hospital – TONE Home Health
The MHA Keystone Center would like to congratulate and recognize the following Michigan-based organizations that received level 1 recognition by the IHI, indicating they are on their way to becoming an Age-Friendly Health System. For a comprehensive list of sites, visit the IHI’s website.
- Baraga County Memorial Hospital
- Baraga County Physician Group
- Eaton Rapids Medical Center – Inpatient
- EHM Senior Solutions Redies Center
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Country Charm
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Hallmark Living of Holland
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Riverside Village
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group Sprenger Health Care of Mishawaka
- GuideStar Eldercare Medical Group The Hearth at Juday Creek
- Hills & Dales General Hospital
- Karmanos Cancer Institute Dresner Clinic & Infusion Center
- Karmanos Cancer Institute Eisenberg Clinic & Infusion Center
- McLaren Caro Region
- Sparrow Clinton Hospital
- Sparrow Hospital
- Sparrow Medical Group St. Johns
- Sparrow Medical Group St. Johns
- Spectrum Health Blodgett ACE Unit
- Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital
The Blueprint for Age-Friendly Care Across the Continuum
Creating an Age-Friendly Ecosystem
Age-Friendly Health Systems are a critical component of the state’s efforts to make its communities and places more age-friendly. As a result, the State of Michigan became the fifth state in the nation to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities in 2019.
Now more than ever, we are called upon to become more aligned across efforts and aging networking with a robust set of age-friendly activities in every community working seamlessly to care and support older adults across the continuum of care and continuum of life! The MHA Keystone Center aims to work with local and statewide agencies and organizations to expand and align age-friendly efforts. Thus, creating a vision for an age-friendly ecosystem that brings together public health, healthcare, community and economic sectors to address social determinants of health and focus on preventative person-centered approaches that promote quality of life across our lifespan.
In the fall of 2021, the MHA Keystone Center and Trust for America joined the Michigan Cross-Sector Age-Friendly Action Community pilot led by the IHI. The pilot aims to bring together two movements: Age-Friendly Health Systems and Age-Friendly Public Health Systems to align strategies and recommendations for communities and states specific to older adult health and well-being. For more information on this work, please contact the MHA Keystone Center.
Addressing Ageism and Health Equity
Beyond improvements in healthcare quality and safety, equity and ageism must be a prominent focus embedded in all older adult initiatives, including advocacy strategies and policy changes. According to the World Health Organization, ageism leads to poorer health, social isolation, earlier deaths and cost economies billions. The issue is exacerbated for older adults in our communities who are impacted by long-standing systemic racism and health disparities in addition to ageism.
As we strive to advance the health of individuals and communities, the MHA and the MHA Keystone Center will continue to identify strategies and seek partnerships that look to tackle these issues head-on.
Age-Friendly in the News
- Age-Friendly Spotlight: Sparrow Ionia Hospital
- COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights Urgent Need for Age-Friendly Care.
- Viewing Age-Friendly Care Through an “Equity Lens”
- Second Wave – Michigan: Michigan pursues “age-friendly everything” to support growing older adult population
The MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community is funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
Sites that are interested in participating in age-friendly efforts may contact the MHA Keystone Center.