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

chronic disease care
Patients are becoming more involved in their chronic disease care, which is improving outcomes.

On the subject of chronic diseases, seniors are usually the experts, hands down, with as many as 3 out of 4 older adults affected by multiple conditions that are chronic, require extensive treatment, and put limits on activities. With the constant barrage of bloodwork as well as other exams, doctors’ appointments and procedures, and medications, chronic disease care may take both a physical and emotional toll, and may very quickly become daunting.

Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, explains, “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 developed the Patient Priorities Care approach, with the goal to decrease the burden of treatment by empowering patients to communicate their personal medical care goals – identifying what matters most to them. A plan of care is then developed to successfully meet those goals. As an example, one person’s goal might be to enhance total well-being during the short-term, whereas another person may seek to increase longevity of life. It also takes into consideration activities the individual enjoys and how to find a way for her or him to continue to engage in them.

The Patient Priorities Care method builds upon the Minimally Disruptive Medicine strategy developed ten years ago, which also seeks to help remedy the burden of chronic condition treatment, but which did not encompass the key aspect of incorporating input from patients to be aware of what means the most for them.

Ultimately, what many senior loved ones determine is that they choose to minimize “unwanted care,” which they understand requires significantly more effort than the benefit they are going to receive, such as diagnostic tests and treatments. To that end, aging adults and their families can draw on these beneficial resources for more successful, self-directed care, such as a conversation guide, overview of health priorities, and even more.

At Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, we are totally invested in understanding what is most crucial to the older adults within our care, and to giving the level of care that assists them to thrive and attain their goals. It’s why our care is fully personalized, and always begins with understanding as much as possible about each person and what his or her goals entail – and then developing a plan of care that can help accomplish those goals. Call us at (269) 849-9252 (St Joseph), (269) 373-5444 (Kalamazoo, MI), (269) 763-5350 (Paw Paw, MI) or (269) 963-9888 (Battle Creek, MI),  for additional information about our top-rated Portage in home care.

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