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TPT Late-Life Care Documentary Features Allina Health Partnership with Augustana Care and Walker Methodist

June 02, 2014

Late Life: Redefining Care

People with life-limiting illnesses—and their families—often have a poor understanding of the supportive services available to them. In many cases, family members end up trying to manage end-of-life care for loved ones and become stressed and overwhelmed.

To remedy this issue, Augustana Health Care Center of Minneapolis was selected by Allina Health, along with Walker Methodist, to participate in the LifeCourse™ research project. The project is developing a new model for late life supportive care to improve every-day life for people with serious illnesses—and their families.

The LifeCourse program centers around the needs and stories of patients and residents facing the end of life and creates a care plan based on each individual’s wishes. This approach is a departure from conventional wisdom, which often imposes care plans based on the assumptions of health care providers.

The initiative serves individuals over age 65 in the Twin Cities metropolitan area with a diagnosis of stage III or IV cancer, heart failure or Alzheimer’s and an assumed life expectancy of six months to two years. Participants work with a specially trained non-clinical care guide who partners with patients, family members and friends to learn what they need to be able to live well. A chaplain, marriage and family therapist, social worker, pharmacist and nurse also provide support and resources.

The LifeCourse program was featured by Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), in the first of a six-episode documentary called Late Life: Redefining Care that premiered on March 18, 2014. The project is funded by the Robina Foundation, in partnership with Allina Health, Augustana Care and Walker Methodist. You may view the documentary here.