Change text size

Age-Friendly Health Care Center

The Future of Health Care is Age-Friendly

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 what research shows are the most important things to pay attention to as we get older — the 4Ms:

What Matters
What Matters

As you age, your needs might change. It’s important for you to share your concerns, goals and wishes.

  • Tell your care team about the things that matter to you.
  • Make a list of questions to ask at each health care visit.
  • Talk with your family and providers about your wishes.


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

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

Mood and Memory
Mood and Memory

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.

  • Tell your medical provider if you notice any changes in your memory or mood.
  • Get screened for dementia and depression each year.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Ask about how you can improve strength, flexibility, and balance.
  • Check your home for objects you can trip on or missing handrails that can cause falls.
Learn More About Age-Friendly Health Care

What Do I Need to Tell the Doctor?

Talking about your health means sharing information about how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Knowing how to describe your symptoms and bring up other concerns will help you become a partner in your health care. Use these worksheets to organize your questions and information when talking with your doctor


How to Choose a Doctor You Can Talk To

Taking an active role in your health care puts the responsibility for good communication on both you and your doctor. This means asking questions if the doctor's explanations or instructions are unclear, bringing up problems even if the doctor doesn't ask, and letting the doctor know if you have concerns about a particular treatment or change in your daily life


I Forgot — And Maybe That’s Okay

But what if forgetting things happens far more often than it used to, or far more frequently to you than others your age? It could be a sign of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which for many people is a precursor to Alzheimer's disease.


Age-Friendly Health Care: Speaking Up About What Matters to You

As you get older, your medical care can ripple across every aspect of your life. It might be a prescription that makes you too tired for dinner with the family. You may love bowling, but a hip replacement has kept you off the lanes much longer than you expected. You might feel sad and withdrawn from friends, unsure if it's depression or because you can't hear as well anymore.


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


How to Prepare for a Doctor's Appointment

A basic plan can help you make the most of your appointment whether you are starting with a new doctor or continuing with the doctor you’ve seen for years. The following tips will make it easier for you and your doctor to cover everything you need to talk about.