Creating Age-Friendly Health Systems

Age friendly image


AHA and partners provide transformational insights, ideas and actions for creating age-friendly health systems.

Older adults are a growing group of consumers for hospitals and health systems. There are more than 46 million Americans age 65 and over, and that number is projected to double to more than 98 million by 2060. Many of these older adults are already living with uncertainty as they move between independent living and reliance on others. Many have more than one chronic disease and take multiple medications. One adverse patient experience could have devastating effects.

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 and the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). It is part of the AHA’s commitment to improving the health of people at every life stage and in communities across the country. This initiative uses a new practice model to address the unique health care needs of older adults.


4M model image


The 4M model focuses on:

  • What Matters: Know and act on each older adult’s specific health outcome goals and care preferences across settings
  • Medications: If medications are necessary, use age-friendly medications that do not interfere with what matters, mentation or mobility
  • Mentation: Identify and manage depression, dementia and delirium across care settings
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults at home and in every setting of care move safely every day in order to maintain function and to do what matters

Five U.S. health systems—Anne Arundel Medical Center, Ascension, Kaiser Permanente, Providence St. Joseph Health, and Trinity Health—are testing a prototype of the age-friendly care model in hospitals, long-term care, ambulatory and post-acute settings.

Download “Creating Age-Friendly Health Systems” issue brief to read more about the initiative and early results from the health systems piloting this project. View the One-Pager: Age-Friendly Health Systems

To learn more, email


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