Health Care Services and Policies
Marcus Institute research is impacting policies and developing standards that improve health care for older adults.
Research-Proven Policies to Improve Health Care for Older Adults
Older adults are more than twice as likely to require hospitalization as adults in middle age. Moreover, when an older person lands in the hospital, care may not consider the special needs of an older patient such as cognitive challenges or frailty. Unfortunately, the same may be true in outpatient settings.
The Marcus Institute seeks to effect broad change in policies that impact the care of older adults. We do this by identifying age-related conditions that have an outsized impact on health care utilization and costs and developing interventions that will mitigate the issues.
Improving Health Care for Seniors While Reducing Costs
From responding to the COVID-19 pandemic to ongoing pressing issues impacting health care for older people, Marcus Institute researchers are engaged in pioneering research that improves care while reducing the burden on our health care system.
- The recent COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the vital role researchers in the field of aging must play in managing public health challenges. Marcus Institute researchers were called upon to help guide efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a disproportionate and devastating impact on older populations.
- Palliative care researchers at the Marcus Institute are conducting NIH-funded studies to better understand and identify ways to reduce disparities in the care of people living with dementia in nursing homes.
- We are investigating the association between conditions like frailty and health care utilization and costs; and developing quality indicators for use in long-term care, post-acute care, and home care.
- We are making frailty information accessible to clinicians and health care systems to identify people with frailty and deliver tailored care.
It's vital that we all understand why the way in which we care for older adults affects the cost and quality of health care delivery for everyone.
Explore this section to learn more about the Marcus Institute’s work to improve geriatric care.
Find current research projects
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Individualized CARE for Older Persons with Complex Chronic Conditions at Home and in Nursing Homes (I-CARE4OLD)
This EU-funded project aims to individualise healthcare for the ever growing group of older persons with chronic complex conditions. From 2021-2025, an international, multidisciplinary team of experts in healthcare and artificial intelligence are combining their specific insights; working with big, real world data acquired for over 30 years to develop a state-of-the art digital platform providing decision support for healthcare professionals treating this particular complex group of persons. The developed solution is expected to lead to improved treatments, enhancing the quality of life of older persons with chronic complex conditions and their relatives, the quality of care, and reduce the costs of care for society as a whole.
Applications of Claims-Based Frailty Index to Advance Evidence for Frailty-Guided Decision-Making
This research aims to generate evidence needed for frailty-guided clinical care and
population health management by applying a claims-based frailty index to routine health care databases, including patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.
Assessment of Disparities and Variations for Alzheimer’s Disease in Nursing Home Care at End of Life (ADVANCE)
This research aims to conduct a comprehensive qualitative study to better understand the variations in intensity of care provided to residents with advanced dementia.
Better Assessment of Illness: Delirium Severity Measures for Persons with and without Dementia (BASIL)
This research aims to define delirium severity in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, and develop new ways to measure delirium severity in participants both with and without dementia.
Boston Roybal Center for Active Lifestyle Interventions Pilot Core
This Pilot Core will support a group of innovative and scientifically rigorous pilot studies each year that will enable the Boston Roybal Center to develop and test behavior change- strategies that promote healthy aging, especially for persons at high risk for poor health outcomes. The work of the Core will ultimately lead to interventions to achieve health-promoting behavior change in vulnerable, at-risk populations.
Harvard Translational Research in Aging Program (T32)
The specific aims of this training program are: 1) to provide a 2-year training program in basic and clinical aging research for postdoctoral trainees, 2) to bring together scientists across a broad range of basic and clinical research through seminars, didactic sessions, shared laboratory experiences, and collaborative projects.
Healthy Aging Initiative
The Hebrew SeniorLife Healthy Aging Initiative is a longitudinal cohort study of older adults to identify biological and lifestyle predictors of lifelong health and well-being, as well as early biomarkers for disease, and enable development of interventions to promote healthy aging and add life to years.
The initiative leverages the expertise of all scientists at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research.
The Healthy Aging Initiative aims to:
• Identify the factors and predictors of lifelong health and well-being
• Identify early biomarkers for disease and rate of aging
• Determine factors that modify the progression of disease
• Discover risks for specific illnesses
• Enable the development of interventions
• Ultimately expand the initiative to include a diverse population of older adults
The Healthy Aging Initiative will take place at all Hebrew SeniorLife housing sites in 2023 including Jack Satter House, Center Communities of Brookline, NewBridge on the Charles, Orchard Cove, and Simon C. Fireman Community. We will be rotating through all the sites in order to conduct Healthy Aging Initiative assessments in-person, at a location that is convenient for participants.
Intensive Palliative Care: Improving the Process of Palliative Ventilator Withdrawal Among Critically Ill Older Adults.
This research aims to generate information to reduce distress among older ICU patients on mechanical ventilation who are transitioning to comfort-focused care, and an intervention with the ICU team of nurses, doctors, and therapists to improve symptom control.