Community Oriented Primary Care (COPC) to Facilitate Improved Utilization of Primary Care in the Elderly Living Alone in Kaita, Japan
Sagar Kamprath, MD, Lindsay Nakaishi, MD, MPH, Honda Yoshida, MD, Yu Shindo, MD, Mark Meyer, MD
This project continued an ongoing partnership with the Iizuka-Kaita Residency Program applying the COPC Model to identify and address health disparities in persons > 75 years old living alone. As a catalyst and outside observer, the aim was to reinvigorate the ongoing COPC project through direct observation of home visits, focused questions, and interdisciplinary lectures for the healthcare team.
Via personal interviews and focus groups, the initial members defined the community as people over 75 years old who live alone in Kaita. With regular communication via Internet conferences and two concentrated site visits focusing on home visits, AIH-Kaita worked through the steps of the COPC model. We partnered with Iizuka Integrative Care Committee to better understand population health statistics of the region and subsequently met with community leaders to asses population health needs.
There was an increase in free/low-cost transportation utilization by the elderly after reassessing the needs of the community, which was one of the original findings/aims. The COPC Refresher course with Kaita staff revealed new ideas for potential interventions to engage the frail/isolated elderly: Connect young mothers/children with the elderly population for mutual benefit through community resource Family Support Center.
Application of the COPC Model not only provides an opportunity to teach providers population health principles but also facilitates community-led interventions. Community members have identified the Family Support Center to connect the elderly with the younger population to meet both groups’ needs. COPC continues to offer much promise for the community of Kaita.