Further, these stereotypes don’t recognize the tremendous variability in the older population and the fact that research from the Texas A&M School of Public Health confirms that older people are able and eager to be active partners in adopting more healthy lifestyles. For example, the Texas A&M School of Public Health, working in collaboration with the Brazos Valley Area Council on Aging and other clinical and community partners, promotes the delivery of evidence-based programs to improve older adults’ ability to manage their chronic conditions, reduce risks of falling and decrease burdens of caring for persons with dementia.
Workshops offered through the Texas A&M Evidence-Based Program include the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, the Diabetes Self-Management Program, Cancer Thriving and Surviving, A Matter of Balance, Fit and Strong, Stress-Busting for Family Caregivers and Home Meds. These programs have already reached thousands of older Texans and younger caregivers and have been shown to provide better health outcomes, improve health care and demonstrate better value. A major challenge is to learn how to bring such successful programs to scale and sustain them over time.
We have learned that you can indeed “teach an old dog new tricks,” but it takes an understanding of how to engage older adults in programs that promote healthy aging and how to design supportive environments, so the healthy choice is the easy choice—and achievable no matter what one’s age. For example, public health faculty are currently working with colleagues from the College of Architecture to better understand how living in Mueller, a planned activity-friendly community in Austin, Texas, can affect physical activity and other lifestyle factors which are closely tied to obesity and the progression of avoidable chronic diseases. With master planned communities coming to the Brazos Valley, we hope to explore these issues in our own backyard.
With May being Older Americans Month, we want to emphasize the ways in which we can strive to be better. This year’s theme, “Age Out Loud,” gives voice to older Americans—while simultaneously raising awareness of vital aging issues of importance to all of us. We invite the community to celebrate
The newly openEd Center for Population Health and Aging is dedicated to:
The center is dedicated to promoting successful aging through innovations in research, education and practice. Its faculty examine social, behavioral, economic, environmental and technological solutions which will link academic and real-world clinical and community settings. They also offer expertise in promoting health and wellness programs, chronic disease prevention and management, building healthy communities, and exploring interactions between health, aging and technology. They strive to improve geriatric care, evaluate policy issues related to population aging, grow the pipeline of experts in gerontology and geriatrics, and identify interventions for promoting healthy aging across the life course.