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Age-Friendly Care: It’s about what matters to you
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Age-Friendly Care: It’s about what matters to you

Series: Age-Friendly Healthcare

(Editor's note: This content is provided by The John A. Hartford Foundation, a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults.)


Getting Better Care For You
YOU are the expert on what matters for your health. Learn how to improve your health by talking with your doctor about the 4Ms – what Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility – a set of essential aspects of your care.


What Matters:
As you age, your needs might change. It’s important for you to share your concerns, goals, wishes, needs and experiences with all of your health care providers.

What You Can Do
1. Tell your care team about the things that matter to you.
2. Make a list of questions to ask at each health care visit
3. Talk with your family and providers about your wishes for care at the end of life.


You might take many medicines now, which can mean more side effects. Some drugs affect us in new ways as we age, too.

What You Can Do
1. Talk with your medical provider about any side effects that you experience.
2. Ask your care team to assess how your medicines interact with each other.
3. Tell your providers about any over-the-counter medicine or natural remedies you take.


Older adults are at risk for dementia (problems with thinking, memory, and reasoning), depression (ongoing sadness or loss of interest) and delirium (sudden confusion), but there are steps you can take to lower your risk.

What You Can Do
1. Tell your medical provider if you notice any changes in your memory or mood.
2. Get screened for dementia and depression each year.
3. If you become confused suddenly, get help right away. Sudden confusion (delirium) is a medical emergency.


It’s important to think about how to get around safely as we get older. Staying active helps you maintain your health and independence.

What You Can Do
1. Talk with your care providers about how you get around at home or go from place to place. Tell them about what’s working and what’s not.
2. Ask about how you can improve strength, flexibility, and balance.
3. Check your home for objects you can trip on or missing handrails that can cause falls.


The 4Ms Help You Get Age-Friendly Care
Age-friendly care is health care that addresses your unique needs and wants. It can help you enjoy a better quality of life. It is care that is safe and based on the 4Ms, an essential set of care elements that research shows are the most important things to pay attention to as we get older.



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