The mission of our partnership is to engage older patients, the medical community, researchers, and other stakeholders in the study of effective preventive strategies to help seniors maintain their health and independence for as long as possible. We focus on a locally developed Successful Aging Shared Medical Appointments model, which is organized around three common risks in aging that exact a heavy toll on patients’ quality of life and the cost of health care for society: memory loss/dementia, falls, and depression. These three foci are also central in the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit that is rapidly becoming usual care for older patients.
In Tier III, we will refine and finalize our research questions and develop a research design that continues to build on what we learn from our patient ambassadors, whose ideas and experiences around preventive care have shaped our work in Tiers I and II. Patient ambassadors will continue to meet as a group throughout Tier III, led by clinicians and researchers to further refine their input. Volunteer staff will hold individual and small-group conversations with ambassadors to dig deeper into their ideas and to solicit reactions to research plans as they develop.
In addition to developing a research design that compares two approaches to preventive care for seniors, we will create an outreach document that describes our work and captures what we have learned from collaborating with a group of seniors through all three tiers.