Michigan has one of the highest concentrations of older residents in the country. As people age, they leave the workforce and transition to a new chapter in their lives. That transition includes interacting with healthcare in a different way, where the frequency of care increases dramatically and in complexity.
Hospitals have a significant opportunity to improve care for the rapidly aging population by joining the MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community. Four primary principles, known as the “4Ms,” will guide the Action Community: understanding what matters to older adults and their families — end-of-life care, family caregiving and self-care goals, among many other areas; emphasizing mobilitymedicationsmentation, including depression, dementia and delirium. The Action Community builds on participating organizations’ existing practices and combines them to reliably implement the evidence-based 4Ms Framework of high-quality care with all older adults in the system.
The Action Community supports the state’s effort to make its communities and places more age friendly. In October 2019, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that Michigan has joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Since then, the MHA Keystone Center successfully completed its first Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community and will launch a second one in March 2021.
Given that older adults are at a higher risk for morbidity and mortality related to COVID-19, the MHA Keystone Center Age-Friendly Health Systems Action Community will serve as a supportive community for healthcare teams working to provide evidence-based care to this population.
The Action Community will continue for seven months, is funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and is available to MHA members free of charge. Identical informational webinars will be held Dec. 15 and Jan. 21 to discuss the program requirements and overall framework. Healthcare teams that are interested in participating in this Action Community may enroll online.