August 14, 2019 by Dean Bellefeuille

managing chronic conditions

When it comes to chronic diseases, the elderly are often the experts, with as many as 3 out of 4 seniors affected by multiple conditions that are chronic, require extensive treatment, and place limitations on activities. With the constant barrage of bloodwork and other exams, physicians’ appointments and procedures, and medications, managing chronic conditions can take both a physical and emotional toll, and might very quickly become stressful.

Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and internist at Yale School of Medicine, points out, “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 established the Patient Priorities Care approach, with the objective to lessen 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 created to best meet those goals. As an example, one person’s goal may be to boost quality of life in the short-term, whereas another person may seek to improve longevity of life. What’s more, it takes under consideration experiences a senior loved one enjoys and how to find a way for him or her to continue to take part in them.

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

Ultimately, what many seniors recognize is they wish to minimize “unwanted care,” that they believe requires more than the benefit they will likely receive, such as diagnostic tests and procedures. To that end, older adults and their loved ones can draw on these valuable resources to get more successful, self-directed care, such as a conversation guide, overview of health priorities, and much more.

At Home Independent Living is focused on learning what is most important to the seniors in our care, and to giving the amount of care which helps them to thrive and attain their goals. It is why our care is fully customized, and always begins with learning as much as possible about each individual and what his or her goals encompass – and then developing a plan of care to help attain those goals. Contact us at (315) 579-HOME (4663) to learn more about our top-rated Syracuse elderly care.