Why we need to involve seniors in thinking about solutions to their health care needs

Why we need to involve seniors in thinking about solutions to their health care needs

“Dr. Tabassum Majid’s journey to the world of health care began when she was tasked with taking care of her grandparents at various points when she was a teenager. After earning a P.H.d at Baylor College of Medicine, she returned to the University of Maryland where she researched care management decisions for caregivers and individuals with dementia. It was then that she decided she wanted to find a way to “impact lives” instead of “looking for solutions that would be implemented years from now.

What led you to the world of senior care?
The opportunity at the Integrace Institute really found me, and I was attracted to its community-based model. We are dedicated to education and research to create evidence-based care practices for families and professionals who are supporting individuals living with neurocognitive change. We work closely with families who are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia to implement practices that will improve their quality of life — including those who live at home — and we are incorporating new technologies in a number of ways.

“[I] care very much about debunking myths about older people, about what it’s like to live with dementia, or to be a caregiver. Older people have a lot of wisdom to contribute, and a great ability to guide and drive change. They want to be involved in the development and decision-making process, and if they don’t feel like they’ve been heard, they are not going to purchase the product or service being marketed to them. I think technology companies are most effective when they use a lean startup approach, involving their customers from the beginning and incorporating their feedback throughout the process.

What ways have you seen the health care industry change over the course of your career?
Across the board, healthcare is shifting to value-based payment models, and that’s been a big disruptor in the industry because it changes the metrics we use to evaluate our success. We used to care more about things like occupancy, census, and budget, and now we’re talking much more about quality, satisfaction, and growth potential. And that is tied directly into the rise of personalized healthcare, and providers finding ways to honor the needs and preferences of the individuals they are caring for and making them a partner in that care. And I’ve seen some nice sparks of the industry embracing new technologies to do that, even though I think as a whole we are still a little bit siloed in terms of integrating these technologies into our systems so that everything can talk to one another.”

Click here to read the full interview on Authority Magazine.

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