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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

By Grace Birnstengel and The John A. Hartford Foundation

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

Health Care
Credit: Adobe

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
Grace Birnstengel was an editor, reporter and writer for Next Avenue. She focused on in-depth storytelling and the intersections of identity and aging. Read More
The John A. Hartford Foundation
By The John A. Hartford Foundation

The John A. Hartford Foundation is a private, nonpartisan, national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. The leader in the field of aging and health, the Foundation has three priority areas: creating age-friendly health systems, supporting family caregivers, and improving serious illness and end-of-life care.

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