Provision of optimal outcomes for older adults can be understood through the use of the American Association for Critical-Care Nurses Synergy Model. These outcomes can be enhanced if strategies are designed to improve the characteristics of patients and families as described in the Synergy Model. When older adults are admitted to critical care units, spouses, children, and friends are in a position to participate in care. This column examines the Synergy Model’s patient characteristic of participation in care relative to involvement of the family and significant others of the older patient as a method of enhancing optimal outcomes.

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