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If Health Care Was Designed Just for You, What Would Need to Change?

For most of America's aging population, health care leaves much to be desired


Part of the Age-Friendly Health Care Special Report

(Editor’s note: This story is part of a series for The John A. Hartford Foundation.)

When was the last time you felt truly satisfied with a health care experience?

If you’re lucky, maybe you live in a state or an area with exceptional access to the highest-quality doctors who are readily available when you need them. Maybe you even see, or know you’ll eventually be able to see, a geriatrician — a doctor who specializes in the care of older adults.

But for most of America’s rapidly aging population, experiences in health care systems (clinics, hospitals, emergency rooms, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and the like) often leave much to be desired.

Looking at your health care experiences holistically, what is less than satisfactory? Is it being shuffled from one long line to another? Appointments feeling rushed or incomplete? Maybe clinics are confusing or overwhelming — or too far away from home for you to get to regularly.

We want to ask our readers this: If health care was designed just for you, what would need to change?

Whatever has you feeling unsatisfied, we want to know. Please tell us and Next Avenue will use this information to inform our journalism.

Grace Birnstengel, writer at Next Avenue in a black shirt and pink background.
By Grace Birnstengel
Grace Birnstengel is a writer and editor for Next Avenue, currently leading an editorial initiative on age-friendly health care — what it means and how people can identify and access care that meets their unique needs. Her other areas of focus include LGBTQ issues, mental health, the arts and ageism. Grace holds a bachelor of arts in journalism and gender, women and sexuality studies from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. You can find her Next Avenue work here.

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