Nursing's Fick named to national advisory board for Age-Friendly Health Systems

April 10, 2019

The number of adults over age 65 is projected to double over the next 25 years. This age group uses health-care services at a higher rate than other age groups, yet many health systems and communities are ill equipped to deal with the complexities they face. In addition, older adults are more vulnerable to harm when hospitalized. Helping to address these challenges is Age-Friendly Health Systems, an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in partnership with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). 

The initiative’s goal is to ensure that older adults get the best care possible, with a focus on the four elements of the “4Ms” Framework of an Age-Friendly Health System:

  • What Matters;
  • Medication;
  • Mentation; and
  • Mobility.

Donna Fick, Elouise Ross Eberly Professor of Nursing and director of the Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at Penn State, was named to the initiative’s national advisory board in March. A gerontological clinical nurse specialist board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Fick has been involved with the initiative for two years. In February and March, she served as a faculty expert for a five-session training series on topics such as preference-based care, high-risk medications, dementia, delirium and depression, and enhancing mobility. Training was provided to interdisciplinary teams of health care providers, including clinicians, health system and practice leaders, and caregivers in more than 100 health systems.

“The key to age-friendly care is to start by knowing the older adult and knowing what matters to the patient and caregiver, if applicable,” Fick said. “The other critical piece is to emphasize and document the strengths of the older adult, not just the deficits.”

“We aim to spread the 4Ms Framework to 20 percent of U.S. hospitals and medical practices by 2020,” Fick said.

To learn more about the Age-Friendly Health Systems movement, visit the website.

Last Updated April 10, 2019