Caregivers discussing medications with older adult.

(Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images)

Nazareth Home residents with extreme complex medical conditions that require attention from multiple medical experts will have access to a new program that creates a personalized treatment plan for them without their leaving home.

The Helping Embrace Life Decisions, or HELD, program brings together experts in the fields of geriatrics and complex disease management to develop plans that focus on the distinct healthcare needs of individual residents of the Louisville, KY-based senior living provider. 

The program, launched in collaboration with Pallitus Health Partners, emphasizes closer monitoring of residents and engaging earlier in symptom control. HELD enables residents to discuss their goals and options and identify a plan to improve their quality of life.

Nazareth Home Medical Director Bonnie Lazor, M.D., told McKnight’s Senior Living that residents can choose to participate in the HELD program at any point. For residents of the community’s personal care program, she said, the hope is that they can age in place longer with the additional clinical oversight provided. Memory care resident families, she added, receive additional clinical support and involvement in their loved ones’ care.

“That is critically important when someone with dementia isn’t able to make their own decisions,” Lazor said. “Engaging in HELD provides both support and education for the elders and their families to know what choices can be made in medically complex situations.”

Being able to use the combined team of experts can help residents avoid hospitalization and additional treatments, she added.

“This is really the next generation of care, to empower the elder with complex disease to have more control over their goals, their care options and, ultimately, the plan on how they want to live out their best life,” Nazareth Home President and CEO Mary Haynes said in a statement

Pallitus Health Partners Chief Medical Officer Bethany Snider, M.D., called the partnership a first-of-its-kind in the area and an “innovative, person-centered approach to caring for those with serious illness.” The organization, she said, provides an “extra layer of support” that improves quality of life for those with complex or advanced health conditions.

The program includes a team of providers and staff members from Nazareth Home and Pallitus Health Partners, along with Tyler McQueen, M.D., a Pallitus Health geriatric medicine specialist who meets with residents weekly about quality-of-life decisions.