May is the month of spring, trees bursting forth with new life, and the promise of warmer days ahead. It’s the perfect month to celebrate moms who have taken care of us, helped us grow, and bestowed wisdom throughout the years. Many children find themselves not just celebrating their mothers but caring for them too.
So what are these 4M’s of Health?
The 4M’s are a foundation of an age-minded health system: What Matters; Medication; Mentation or mind-health; and Mobility.
- What Matters looks at specific individual health care goals, which can change over time.
- Medication is of course taking only necessary medications and deprescribing or not prescribing unnecessary medications.
- Mentation (or mind-health) is the prevention, recognition, and management of mental health such as dementia, delirium, depression, and anxiety.
- Mobility is the idea of moving safely and maintaining function and strength every day.
How to use the 4M’s as a healthcare consumer.
The 4 M’s for age-friendly health systems from the Institute for Health Improvement (IHI) can be used to have conversations with the older adult you care for and with the healthcare providers. Take a look at how these 4M’s can be applied to your conversations.
- What Matters evaluates healthy goals and thresholds for health conditions that change with age. Ask what the parameters are for your age and if you are still within range for your individual health and personal goals.
- Medication may have been beneficial in your ‘younger’ adult years, but as the body changes medications that were once helpful may no longer be beneficial and cause more side effects. Check if all your medications are necessary or if some are no longer needed, think about the over-the-counter medications you take too.
- Mentation is a concern as we age; certain medications may cause side effects that affect the mind, but lifestyle can too. Take a preventative approach, eat healthy, move for your mind, socialize, continue to learn, and ask if any of your medications could potentially cause poor mind-health.
- Mobility is such an important part of our overall health, it keeps us feeling better, and strengthens the bones and muscles. Some medications may make you feel dizzy, unsteady, tired, or cause discomfort that makes you move less. Ask if you are taking medications that may make you feel this way. Balance training is another way to improve mobility.
Spring is the perfect time to engage in the 4M’s. Learn more about the 4M’s on the IHI website: http://www.ihi.org/Engage/Initiatives/Age-Friendly-Health-Systems/Pages/default.aspx
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- Most of all…Stay WISE & WELL!