What if people in the later stages of life had someone to help guide them through the maze of choices to meet their needs?
What if they had someone to help them understand how these choices could support the most basic of questions of what matters most?
People often feel uncertain and insecure about their future when dealing with the daily challenges of serious illness.
The later stages of life should be a time full of purpose and meaning, a time when individuals can make personal choices based on what matters most to them, and a time when they are recognized as a whole person, not just an illness.
Even though health care systems do well in providing intensive care during crises and in delivering hospice care at end of life, individuals living with serious illness face challenges during the "in-between" times. LifeCourse, a late life supportive care approach for people living with serious illness, aims to fill this gap.
Trained health care professionals called care guides visit patients in their home every month. They provide assistance in connecting to needed resources and navigating the health care system to help individuals get valuable information and care.
By helping individuals identify and access providers and services, LifeCourse supports what matters most to them.
Research shows that LifeCourse patients are better able to maintain quality of life and have better care experiences than patients receiving usual care.
LifeCourse patients also use palliative and hospice care more often than patients receiving usual care.
What matters most is different for every person and every family. The later stages of life — even with a serious illness — should be filled with purpose, meaning and joy.
Some want to better understand their health care options and have a say. Others wish to honor cultural or religious practices. Some simply want to attend a reunion or family event.
When people can talk openly about what matters most to the, health care providers, family, and close friends can better support them as they navigate the challenges of late life.
Allina Health is expanding LifeCourse through operational funding to primary care and specialty clinics.
Allina Health is grateful to the Robina Foundation for making this work possible. The Robina Foundation is dedicated to encouraging innovation and supporting transformative change in organizations and communities.
Its benefactor, James Binger, former president of Honeywell, was a grateful patient at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and a lifelong supporter of positive social change in our community and our country. It is a privilege to honor his legacy through this important work.
For more about LifeCourse, email
For resources to help you, or someone you care about, live well with serious illness, go to