At Amedisys, we strive to empower our patients and their caregivers with the goal of improving quality of life. Our clinical teams use an interdisciplinary approach that combines the physician-approved plan of care, clinical and patient life goals, evidence-based clinical protocols, and outcome measurements to formulate life-long management of chronic diseases, such as heart failure and COPD.
No matter where a patient is receiving home care (e.g., assisted living facility, in their home, etc.), patient empowerment occurs when the entire care team is educated on the care plan and using the same tools to motivate and support the patient. For our patients, creating and documenting life goals enable them to see beyond their health issues and create a vision for their life. Life goals can be short or long-term, family focused or activity based. Here are a few examples:
- Attend a granddaughter’s graduation;
- Work to restore an old car with a son;
- Maintain independence at home for as long as possible; and
- Daily walks in the neighborhood to visit friends.
Whether a chronic condition is hereditary, due to environmental conditions, or the result of lifestyle choices, changing health-related behaviors is critical for improvement, but it is hard. Often caregivers give up or are in need of education and support to help motivate a patient to make necessary lifestyle modifications. Regardless of how a person becomes a program participant, setting life goals combined with health maintenance and clinical improvement goals can lead to more successful outcomes and a happier life.
Empowerment tactics can help patients build confidence to manage their disease while reducing patient and caregiver stress and anxiety. Tactics include tracking daily progress towards goals set by the care team, including motivation along the way. When patients become active participants in their health and wellbeing, their overall quality of life improves.
By fostering accountability and using life goals as part of their care plan, patients can stay focused on the life they want to have while living with a chronic condition.