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Engaging older patients in their treatment and care 

Engaging older patients in their treatment and care
Engaging older patients in their treatment and care
Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine (3 edn)

Angela Coulter


Nowadays we use the term ‘patient-centred care’ to describe responsiveness to people’s personal, practical, emotional, and social needs alongside their biomedical ones. This chapter looks at what patient-centred care means for older people, what they want from healthcare, and how to ensure that the healthcare they receive is appropriate to their needs. Despite evidence that most patients, including those in the oldest age groups, want to be informed and involved in decisions about their care, there is a gap between these aspirations and the reality. This chapter looks at evidence on what patients want and expect. Ways in which clinicians can support them to become active partners in their care are discussed and evidence on what works is briefly reviewed. Examples include shared decision-making, personalized care planning, use of advance care plans, technologies to support independent living, and care coordination.

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