The PATH process helps people navigate the complexity of frailty in 4 steps:
The best way to make appropriate decisions at this time of life is to develop a shared understanding of health between you and your healthcare provider.
Once the big picture of health is clarified, the next step is to have an open, honest, conversation about the significance of each health issue and how it will progress in the future.
3 Empower and Plan
Now that you know what to expect, you and your healthcare provider can work together to develop a guided care plan for the future by considering the following questions:
- Which health conditions are easily treatable? Which are not?
- How will frailty make treatment risky?
- How can symptoms be safely and effectively managed?
- Will the proposed treatment improve or worsen function or memory?
- Will the proposed treatment require time in hospital? If so, for how long?
- Will the treatment allow more good quality years, especially at home?
- What can we do to promote comfort and dignity in the time left?
In frailty, there will be sudden changes in health that require care and decision-making. We we call this the “health crisis.” Thus, the final step of the process is for the healthcare provider to be available to assist with providing care and decision-making during those critical times.