Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization (PATH): A New Model for Decision-Making in Frail Older Adults

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Paige Moorhouse, MD MPH FRCPC, and Laurie Mallery MD FRCPC, Division of Geriatric Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia

As the population ages, advances in medical technology paradoxically result in the accumulation of multiple chronic health conditions—known as frailty. Despite increasing numbers of frail older adults, healthcare systems have not been designed to meet the challenges associated with caring for this patient population. This article describes the characteristics of health systems that exacerbate the complex issues associated with caring for those who are frail and reviews one possible model, known as PATH—Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization, as a way to respond to these system challenges.
Keywords: frailty, care planning, dementia, knowledge translation, health program.