Older Adults: Why Is Health Literacy Important?
Older adults and their caregivers need reliable health information to prevent and manage disease, promote their health and follow public health recommendations and warnings. Yet, differences in access to formal education and literacy training, the complexity and technical nature of health information, and the natural processes of aging may compromise older adults' capacity to use health information and make sense of messages.
Older adults use more medical services and acquire more chronic illnesses than other population segments. By 2030, 71.5 million adults aged 65 years of age or older will be living in the United States. This demographic shift and the NAAL data affirm that improving health information and services is a priority to achieve improved health for older adults.