John A Hartford Foundation Improving Care of Older Adults

Terry Fulmer, RN, Ph.D., President of the John A. Hartford Foundation, explains how the foundation works to improve the care of older adults by creating age-friendly health systems, providing support to family caregivers and improving end of life and serious illness care.

8/14/17 #2066






"We are pleased to welcome for the first time, Doctor Terry Fulmer, who is the president of the John A. Hartford Foundation based in New York City dedicated to...? Improving care of older adults. How did this all happen? The foundation? It's an exciting story actually. In 1929, John and George Hartford decided to take their extensive good fortune from A&P Grocery Stores and set up a foundation for the greatest good for the greatest number. And for the past 35 years, we've dedicated our efforts and our money to improving care for older adults. How so? Break it down in a couple of examples. Sure, so we've done it in a number of ways. Initially, we developed the workforce, so we started Centers of Excellence in geriatric medicine, geriatric nursing, geriatric social work. We developed models of care such as programs that help individuals prevent falls and to support family caregivers and today we're really emphasizing 3 areas. Creating age friendly hospitals and health systems. Age friendly hospitals and health systems? Correct. And improving the care for serious illness and end of life care and finally supporting family caregivers. Yeah. I was just saying this. It's always weird for me to do this because we tape these shows and they air later. As we tape this program in the summer of 2017, my dad's been dealing with some challenging issues. 84 going on 85. But it's my mom who I worry about who is the primary caregiver. She is, along with millions of others, is she not? There are at least 20 million family caregivers out there who are exhausted. They suffer from depression because of the amount of worry that they have on any given day, because they're trying so hard to meet the needs of the people they love who are older and need care. That's with help? My family has help. Yeah. I wonder if families who don't even have that much help, how hard is it on caregivers? I'm so glad you make that distinction because most people don't have help. Most? Yes. They use their neighbors, their friends, their family. And so those are the people we really have to be thinking about how to support them, what strategies, and we have really made a concerted effort to get the word out about how to support people who are home without help. You know doctor, you talk about getting the word out. We're partners with the folks at Felician University and the Bartley Health folks as well, as part of a series we're doing on ageism, right? Aging in America. What is the word that needs to get out to be very specific..."