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Confronting ageism at U of U Health to deliver “Care-4-All Ages"

a bridge of Ms in four colors, Care-4-All Ages, MEDiversity Week

This year, MEDiversity Week returns to the University of Utah with an emphasis on anti-ageism in the health care field and the recent designation of U of U Health as an Age-Friendly Health System. The size of the US population that is +65 years of age is expected to double by 2050, prompting greater attention to systems so they meet the growing need. One recent study found that ageism in health care resulted in more than 17 million additional health condition cases and put its cost at $63 billion annually, a staggering sum that results from overmedication, misaligned treatment plans, and inequitable health outcomes. This theme for this year’s MEDiversity Week, “Care-4-All Ages," seeks to draw attention to the importance of designing and delivering care that meets the needs of every person, regardless of age.  

This year’s theme also spotlights the 4Ms framework, which gives health care leaders and workers a set of principles that can guide anti-ageism efforts. Originally developed by the John A. Hartford Foundation, these principles include: 

  • What Matters: Know and align care with each older adult's specific health outcome goals and care preferences including, but not limited to, end-of-life care, and across settings of care.
  • Medication: If medication is necessary, use Age-Friendly medication that does not interfere with What Matters to the older adult, Mobility, or Mentation across settings of care.
  • Mentation: Prevent, identify, treat, and manage dementia, depression, and delirium across settings of care.
  • Mobility: Ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do What Matters.

MEDiversity Week this year is planned for October 23 - 27 and will include several panels and workshops, as well as a film screening/discussion and keynote. To learn more about planned events and activities, please visit the MEDiversity Week website for more information. 

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