West Health



Formative Research on Needs and Supports for Family Members Caring for a Person with Cognitive Impairment

There are a estimated 15 million family caregivers in the U.S. who are assisting seniors with functional and cognitive limitations. Family caregivers manage household tasks and finances, provide personal care and hygiene, and serve as care coordinators, thereby allowing the person living with dementia to remain in the community. In this formative research, we aimed to identify the training and resources caregivers need, the areas where they want to learn more, and obtain a better understanding of their unique challenges.

Value-Based Care for Seniors with Heart Failure: Mobile Interventions and Reduced Hospitalizations

New models for delivering cost-effective and high-quality acute care are needed to meet the demands of the quickly growing and medically complex senior population. This is particularly true for seniors with heart failure who are often high utilizers of hospital-based services. In response, Geisinger health system implemented a mobile integrated health paramedic program (MIHPP) whereby trained paramedics provided home-based clinical care and management of seniors enrolled in their Heart Failure Clinic (HFC). This study examined the impact of the MIHPP intervention on seniors’ hospital-based utilization hypothesizing that participation in the MIHPP would lead to lower hospital-based utilization in the six months after the MIHPP intervention.

Developing a Recipe to Achieve Comprehensive Senior Malnutrition Care and Prevention

Through improvements in the identification of senior malnutrition and risk for malnutrition, community intervention, evaluation of best practices and research, and advancing policies that provide incentives for quality measurement and reimbursement for malnutrition related activities, the incidence of senior malnutrition can be reduced and avert an ever-growing threat to successful aging.

Family Caregivers’ Perception and Experience with Medical and Community Services

There are roughly 43.5 million unpaid family caregivers in the US, and they provide much of the care for their charges ranging from activities of daily living to nursing tasks. Caregivers often turn to the health system for support when they are stressed or overwhelmed with caring for their loved one. Understanding caregivers’ views and interactions with the healthcare system is a first step in identifying the gaps in support of family caregivers and their care recipient.