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Older Adults: How Do Older Adults Make Decisions?

Older adults are a diverse group of individuals with a unique set of needs and preferences. They often face complex health decisions that involve trade-offs among options that appeal to different values, beliefs and preferences. For example, following an evacuation order during a weather event may fit with their need to feel safe and be responsive to local officials' directions. But evacuation may also separate them from their daily support system, including medical care and informal caregivers. Understanding their situation and what motivates older adults to learn and use health information can help you develop effective health communication materials. Here are some key things to consider before you begin designing your materials:

For more suggestions, see Benbow, A. (2002). Communicating with Older Adults: A Guide for Health Care and Senior service Professionals and Staff. Seattle, Washington: Caresource Healthcare Communications, Inc.

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