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Healthy Aging: Promoting Well-being in Older Adults

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Americans are Living Longer and in Greater Numbers

The population of older Americans is growing and living longer than ever. As a group, they are living active lives and contributing to the economy. The added years to the lifespans have resulted in a longer middle age—extending the period when workers are at their most productive and creative.

  • 10,000 people are turning 65 a day
  • 80 percent of people age 50 and older plan to work past 65
  • People over 50 in the US contribute $7.6 trillion to the economy annually

Aging Brings Challenges

Aging brings an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia. For example, Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, is the 5th leading cause of death among older Americans. Older adults also face more challenges with everyday living activities.

  • 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition
  • 1 in 3 older adults has limitations in activities such as preparing meals and housekeeping

The Challenges of Caregiving and Caregivers

Birth rates are declining, posing a potential shortfall of caregivers, and that trend will continue. Caregivers themselves are at risk for health problems. Trends show they will be working longer hours and caring for people with more than one chronic disease.

Join us for this session of Public Health Grand Rounds as experts discuss the impact the aging population will have on their caregivers, the public health system, and the aging themselves. Hear what CDC and public health officials are doing and what needs to be done.

Beyond the Data

Do you know the 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease? With 10,000 Americans turning 65 a day, many are at risk for this and other chronic diseases. Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and Matthew Baumgart discuss the challenges of caring for the aging population. Tune in here to find helpful resources for healthy aging.

Audience Questions
One of the fastest growing occupations in the US is “home health aides”. These workers are and will continue to be an important connection to our aging population. I’m interested what sort of initiatives CDC or others have to engage and support home health aides to ensure they are providing safe, quality and evidence-based care for older adults.

Several organizations are addressing the training needs of caregivers and home health aides to enhance and strengthen the quantity and quality of care for our older populations, as well as those with dementia.   Please take a look at the following organizations’ websites for more information and resources: The Department of Health and Human Services has an Eldercare Locator with resources: icon This Eldercare page has links to other federal agencies working on similar issues: The National Alliance for Caregiving: icon

Working at the hospital, we have to talk about end-of-life care. That is one of the biggest expenditures and needs to be addressed even though it's a hard subject to talk about. And by elderly I'm in patients over 85 with multiple systemic diseases with sub-optimal quality of life.

Advanced care planning is an important part of chronic disease self-management in older adults.  CDC has developed an advanced care planning course (available at that prepares care providers to assist in this important role.

Presented By
Sarah Lenz Lock, JD
Senior Vice President for Policy, American Association of Retired Persons
Executive Director, Global Council on Brain Health

"Promoting Health, Well-being, and Independence as We Age"
Matthew Baumgart, BA
Senior Director for Public Policy
Alzheimer's Association
"Healthy Body, Healthy Brain: The State of the Science and the Way Forward"
Grace Whiting, JD
Chief Operating Officer
National Alliance for Caregiving
"Healthy Caregiver, Healthy Patient: Importance of Healthy Aging for Caregivers"
Lisa C. McGuire, PhD
Lead, CDC Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program,
Division of Population Health

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC
"CDC’s Healthy Brain Initiative: Moving Forward Together"
Facilitated By
John Iskander, MD, MPH
Scientific Director
Phoebe Thorpe, MD, MPH
Deputy Scientific Director
Susan Laird, MSN, RN
Communications Director
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Continuing Education
This session is available for Continuing Education (CE).

CDC Course Code: PHGR10
CPE UAN: 0387-0000-17-023-H04-P

For more information, see Grand Rounds Continuing Education.

Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
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