By the end of 2029 – just a decade away – every member of the Baby Boomer generation will have reached age 65, a milestone that marks the need for a new kind of care focused on healthy aging. Nearly 61,000 residents in Capital Health Plan’s seven-county service area are already over 65. To meet the rising need for the type of specialized care required for older residents, CHP added the Nancy Van Vessem, M.D., Center for Healthy Aging to their list of services. The new Center focuses on age-friendly care for our older members, and is conveniently located in the brand new Metropolitan Health Center, located at 1264 Metropolitan Boulevard in northeast Tallahassee.
As an “Age-Friendly Health System” – a national recognition designated by the John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement – the Center brings a holistic approach to meeting the unique health care needs of these older adults. A recent survey by WebMD and The John A. Hartford Foundation identified some of the leading challenges facing health care for elders:
- Most older people have multiple chronic conditions and take 5 to 10 medications daily.
- Most older patients experience some level of disability, and nearly half reported difficulty walking or moving around.
- While depression should not be a normal part of aging, more than 40% of respondents mistakenly believed it is normal for people to get depressed as they get older.
The Nancy Van Vessem, M.D., Center for Healthy Aging is raising the bar for quality care for older adults by focusing on the “Four Ms” that define an Age-Friendly Health System:
- What Matters: Knowing and meeting each older adult's specific health and quality-of-life goals and tailoring care to the individual.
- Medication: Choosing medications, when needed, that minimize negative impacts across settings of care and do not interfere with quality-of-life goals.
- Mentation: Using mental activity to prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium.
- Mobility: Ensuring that older adults move about safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.
As people age, maintaining their mobility, independence, and overall quality of life is a top priority. The Nancy Van Vessem, M.D., Center for Healthy Aging provides a comprehensive suite of services and specialized physicians to help patients continue to stay healthy or provide dedicated assistance with chronic and complex medical needs. A balanced approach to maintaining a sound body and mind, along with Age-Friendly care providers, can make all the difference in healthy aging.