Geriatrics and Extended Care
VA Age-Friendly Health Systems Initiative
Just as older Veterans are redefining later life as they continue to enrich our communities, VA is reimaging the landscape of health care for our aging Veteran population.
The future of health care requires bold approaches that value older Veterans, consider their wishes, address their unique needs and provide them with the best care possible.
Improving the way we care for older Veterans in every setting can help us achieve fewer avoidable hospital readmissions, better outcomes, more satisfied patients and families and lower overall costs.
That’s why VA’s Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care (GEC) has joined the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement – an initiative to deliver safe, reliable, high-quality health care in every setting based on what matters most to Veterans.
Evidence-Based Care Based on the 4Ms
As part of the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement, VA is implementing a set of evidence-based practices known as the 4Ms. The 4Ms are:
- What Matters: Know and align care with each older Veteran's specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, but not limited to, end-of-life care, and across settings of care.
- Medication: If medication is necessary, use Age-Friendly medications that do not interfere with what matters to the older Veteran, mobility or mentation across settings of care.
- Mentation (Mind): Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression and delirium across settings of care.
- Mobility: Ensure that older Veterans move safely every day to maintain function and do what matters.
- The 4Ms, when practiced reliably across all settings of care, are designed to tailor care based on each Veteran’s unique needs, preferences and goals.
VA Poised to Become Largest Age-Friendly Health System in U.S.
Age-Friendly Health Systems is an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).
In March 2020, GEC set the aim for VHA to become the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. to be recognized by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) as Age-Friendly. Since then, more than 50 VA medical centers across the country have joined the movement as official Age-Friendly Health Systems Participants.
It is our hope that as we implement and continuously improve our processes, we’ll be able to provide more older Veterans with the care that they want, need and deserve. If your facility is interested in becoming part of the movement, visit the VA Diffusion Marketplace.