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Age Friendly Hospital Initiative

According to the US Census Bureau, the US population aged 65+ years is expected to nearly double over the next 30 years, to an estimated 83.7 million in 2050. This reality will leave our health systems behind as they struggle to reliably provide medical care to every older adult, at every care interaction.

What Does It Mean to Be Age-Friendly?

The goal of the Age-Friendly Health Systems Initiative is to rapidly spread the 4M’s Framework to 20% of all US hospitals and medical practices by 2020.  The 4M’s are:

  • What Matters
  • Mentation
  • Medications
  • Mobility

Age-Friendly Health Systems aim to follow an essential set of evidenced-based practices; cause no harm; and  always align with What Matters to the older adult and their family caregivers​.

What is MGH doing to be Age Friendly?

Mass General has been working hard towards becoming an Age Friendly Health System.  This is a new and very important Hospital priority, so that every interaction, with every person, 65 and over, supports excellent care that is compassionate, patient-centered and thorough.  The 4M’s Frameworks gives all practitioners a context in which to accomplish these goals.

Actions thus far:

  • MGH has received Level One recognition from IHI for our specifics programs such as the Caregiver Support Program, the Memory Care Initiative and our clinical work in the Memory Disorders Unit and Geri-Pysch.
  • The Emergency Department has implemented care packages for caregivers whose loved one is waiting to be seen. The ED has also implemented effective, wholistic approaches to reduce delirium.
  • We are working with Pharmacy to reduce specific medications for patients with dementia
  • We are expanding our assistance in advanced care planning to all patients in all Hospital settings: The ED, in-patient and out-patient
  • Many in-patient floors have increased patient’s mobility through the “Get up and Go” programs which has also helped to reduce falls.
  • Through out the Hospital providers have increased our “what matters” conversations to allow patients and their families to express their wishes so that providers can support these to increase people’s quality of life.


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), designed Age-Friendly Health Systems to meet the challenges of this growing population head on.

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