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Chronic Disease

Home is where the health is

By Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, ANP, FAAN, Director, Center on Innovative Care in Aging, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director of Strategic Partnerships for CAPABLE, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Chronic conditions are prevalent and expensive. They are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, and up to 90 cents of every healthcare dollar is spent on treating people with chronic illnesses. For the 60 percent of older adults with two or more chronic conditions, there are many barriers that prevent them from managing their conditions and remaining independent. For many, improving health largely falls outside healthcare facilities.

If individuals cannot bathe or dress themselves they are less likely to be able to properly manage their diabetes or other chronic illness. Without proper management, there is greater risk of additional complications impacting their health, as well as an increased cost of care.

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