The mission of the “Fostering Successful Aging” project is to engage older patients, the medical community, and other stakeholders in the development and study of effective strategies to help seniors maintain their health and independence for as long as possible. Our goal is to lay the groundwork that will lead to improved medical care available to older adult patients by increasing awareness of the Successful Aging Shared Medical Appointments (SMA) care model pioneered at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF).
The three life-altering chronic medical conditions addressed by Successful Aging SMA are memory loss, falls, and depression. These conditions affect the quality of life of seniors and contribute to an increasing cost of care for our society. Our initial Tier I work focused on patient outreach, internal communications, and a first step in outreach to external audiences. We began by creating a group of “successful aging ambassadors,” all of whom are older patients. We also created an advisory council that represents multiple stakeholders: patient advocates, healthcare providers, researchers, and marketers. We also promoted our project through the annual Successful Aging Fair sponsored by PAMF and Avenidas, a community organization that supports seniors.
In Tier II we intend to expand the scope of our successful aging ambassadors, build broader institutional support for the project, and create interest among the larger community of seniors and medical care providers. We also intend to come up with research questions that ultimately will attest to the value of this innovative care model.