Health AGEnda, the blog of the John A. Hartford Foundation, is a forum for sharing the latest commentary, evidence, and insights on health and aging topics. Here is a roundup of recent policy-relevant posts that may inform your thinking, connect you to useful resources, or provoke further questions to explore with us.
The John A. Hartford Foundation is pleased to present the findings of “On Your Team,” its third public poll, examining older adults’ experiences and opinions of team care and the patient-centered medical home.
In “On Your Team,” older adults surveyed expressed high interest and positive experiences with the medical home. A large majority (83%) of those who say they already receive well-coordinated care from a team of providers say team care has improved their health. Even among older adults not currently receiving this type of care, 61 percent say they believe team care would improve their health, and 73 percent would want this type of care, the survey found.
For full information on the poll, please explore the following materials:
“It was as if I were falling into a deep dark well and I could not climb out of it.” - Poll Respondent
Large majorities of older Americans with depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders are receiving treatment that does not meet evidence-based standards, and many do not know that depression can put their health at increased risk, according to a national survey, “Silver and Blue: The Unfinished Business of Mental Health Care for Older Adults,” released on December 13, 2012 by the John A. Hartford Foundation.
The survey focused on 1,318 Americans age 65 and older. Key findings include: Continue reading →
The Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative (GPNC) aims to improve nursing care of older people and better serve their mental health needs by creating and disseminating standard competencies and curricula in geropsychiatric nursing. Project leaders have used various strategic methods to widely disseminate their competencies and resources. In addition to numerous publications, presentations, and live Webinars, they have posted over 40 geropyschiatric tools on the Portal of Online Geriatric Education (POGOe). POGOe is a free public repository of a growing collection of geriatric educational materials in various formats, and aims to promote geriatric education through the provision and encouragement of free exchange of teaching and assessment materials that support the fields of geriatrics and gerontology. In partnering with the POGOe, the GPNC has contributed an impressive amount of curricular material on the site as a way for nurse educators to infuse geropsych content into their courses.
In order to more easily access these materials, Melissa Aselage, PhD, RN-BC, FNP-BC, curriculum consultant for the GPNC and a Hartford BAGNC Scholar/Claire M. Fagin Fellow, developed a tutorial video designed to help users access the Geropsychiatric Nursing Competency Enhancements and Associated Resources located on the site. This tutorial advises users on how to set up a POGOe account and how to easily navigate the four domains by which all of the geropsychiatric nursing resources are ordered: Assessment, Management, Approach to Older Adults, Roles.
The geropsychiatric product series on POGOe has been top-ranked among all content on the site. We are excited to share this tutorial video as a way to promote the work of the John A. Hartford Foundation Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative and the Portal of Geriatric Online Education. We encourage you to explore, utilize, and share the geropsych content and all geriatric education content on the POGOe.
We are proud of the accomplishments of our Geriatric Nursing Education Consortium (GNEC). Hartford evaluation grantees Shoshanna Sofaer, DrPH, Amy Shire, MPH, and Jacqueline Fortin, MPA School of Public Affairs, Baruch College published the positive results of an evaluation of GNEC in a brief, “Multiplying Change: Ensuring All Nurses Learn to Care Well for Older Adults.” Click here to read the entire brief in its PDF format, or take a moment to read the Executive Summary, reprinted below.
In 2005, the John A. Hartford Foundation, a leading philanthropy committed to improving the health care of older adults since 1929, made a $2.48 million grant to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to implement the Geriatric Nursing Education Consortium (GNEC). Carried out in collaboration with the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University College of Nursing, the GNEC project supported the Foundation’s mission by working to achieve the following goals:
Increase geriatric content in senior-level undergraduate nursing courses;
Educate faculty at baccalaureate schools of nursing nationwide in both the fundamentals of geriatric nursing and in the use of geriatric curriculum resources;
Support and empower trained faculty as they champion geriatric education to train colleagues and oversee curriculum revision at their home institutions; and
Provide faculty with an array of innovative resources to prepare baccalaureate-educated nurses by inculcating them with the expertise, and nurturing their enthusiasm to care for older adults.
Effective communication is essential if we hope to achieve our common goal of improving the health of older adults. We must clearly articulate the problems and special needs of older people in our health care system to focus the attention of policy makers, health system leaders, and the general public. We must translate the scientific and technical language of the promising solutions our grantees have created into comprehensible and implementable ideas.
This is why the John A. Hartford Foundation has invested in our Communications and Dissemination Initiative, and why we are sharing some of the resources and tools we have developed with our network of grantees and friends.
Communications Resources for Individuals
During the last 30 years, the John A. Hartford Foundation has supported curricular change projects and the careers of over 1,000 aging-expert faculty members across the country. We have funded researchers to test and disseminate improved models of health care delivery for older patients. The Foundation has invested in building leaders who can change education and practice. Communications is critical to these leaders’ success, and good communications takes instruction and practice.
Large majorities of older Americans experience significant and troubling gaps in their primary care, according to our new national survey, “How Does It Feel? The Older Adult Health Care Experience,” released April 24, 2012.
The poll focuses exclusively on Americans age 65 and older and assesses whether, in the past 12 months, patients received seven important medical services to support healthy aging, including:
an annual medication review,
a falls risk assessment and history,
referral to community-based health resources, and
discussion of their ability to perform routine daily tasks and activities without help.