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Health Screening

Great improvements in medicine, public health, science, and technology have enabled today’s older Americans to live longer and healthier lives than previous generations. Older adults want to remain healthy and independent at home in their communities. Society wants to minimize the health care and economic costs associated with an increasing older population. The science of aging indicates that chronic disease and disability are not inevitable. As a result, health promotion and disease prevention activities and programs are an increasing priority for older adults, their families, and the health care system.

Many Americans fail to make the connection between undertaking healthy behaviors today and the impact of these choices later in life. Studies by the National Institute of Aging indicate that healthy eating, physical activity, mental stimulation, not smoking, active social engagement, moderate use of alcohol, maintaining a safe environment, social support, and regular health care are important in maintaining health and independence.

Promoting the healthy lifestyles of older people is vital in helping them to maintain health and functional independence and lead healthy and independent lives. Providing information to you about disease prevention and health promotion activities will help us help you and your loved ones become more knowledgeable about the health problems you may face and how you can prevent, delay, or manage them. We are using the Department’s report called Healthy People as a framework for providing you with this information. The report, originally published in 1979 and updated throughout the past thirty years, identifies the most significant preventable threats to health and focuses public and private sector efforts to address those threats. The overarching goals of the most recent update of the report, Healthy People 2010, include increasing the quality and years of healthy life and eliminating health disparities. Within the report there are twenty-eight focus areas with goals and objectives within each area.

The areas listed below are ones that we have chosen that relate to the Department’s objectives and the health of older Americans. The list below contains links to information that we feel you and your loved ones need to be informed of in order to lead healthy lives. We provide additional resources within each area that we feel will be helpful to you. According to the 2003 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, “Healthy Aging for Older Adults”, nine out of ten adults over the age of 65 go without appropriate health care screenings. Screening tests can catch conditions or diseases in their early stages, when they are more easily treated, and substantially reduce the impact of illnesses such as heart disease, hypertension, cancer, or diabetes. In addition, the results may help identify potential risk factors for disease that can be managed with simple lifestyle changes. A recent report from the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI) recommended that adults age 65 and older obtain preventive services every one to two years. If you would like to schedule such an appointment, please contact a health care provider.

General Resource Links:

Health Screening