We previously shared some of the Challenges of Senior Care Coordination, along with some take away lessons family caregivers can learn from our professional experience as patient advocates.
The more complex a senior’s medical condition, the more important coordination is to outcomes. Some of the facts about healthcare spending illustrate the high costs of complex care:
- People with chronic conditions account for 85 percent of all health care spending.
- 96 percent of Medicare dollars is spent on patients with multiple chronic conditions.
But, more importantly to the individuals and their families, a lot of evidence suggests that much of the healthcare received is not wanted by the patient and probably not what is needed based on clinical evidence. Integrated (what is often termed “whole person”) care provides solutions by viewing the “big picture” and emphasizing prevention of further problems. For seniors in particular, many factors outside of high-tech medical interventions affect their medical outcomes.
Is the senior getting proper nutrition to support healing and his/her age-related and medical needs? (Is cooking becoming more difficult? Is the senior isolated/lonely and not enjoying meals? Can he or she no longer get to the store?)
Is the senior forgetting medical appointments or unable to communicate between various providers, thus causing fractured care?
Does the person have an outdated glasses prescription which is causing her to misread medication labels?
There are numerous factors impacting a senior’s care and medical outcomes, from functional issues to social supports.
Coordinated, whole person care benefits the patient by reducing the burden of planning, organizing and tracking so may different factors, appointments, etc., which lets the patient focus on the process of getting well and staying healthy.
Want to get more information on how a professional patient advocate can help coordinate care and improve health outcomes?
If you are a medical provider or senior care professional we’d love to talk to you more about how we can help with coordinated care and assistance with chronic disease management!