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Health

Staying as healthy as possible is important to living an independent and full life at any age. Taking care of yourself involves thinking about many things, including food and nutrition, managing chronic illness and oral health, emotional and mental wellness, and even making changes to a home to prevent injuries. The resources provided below are intended to help older adults and their caregivers as they may decisions related to these issues.

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia


Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are characterized by a gradual loss of memory, decline in the ability to perform routine tasks, disorientation, difficulty in learning, loss of language skills, impaired judgment and ability to plan, and personality changes. Over time, these changes become so severe that they interfere with an individual’s daily functioning.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s, but there are effective strategies to help maintain cognitive function, reduce behavioral symptoms, prevent acute care crises and delay functional decline.

Alzheimers.gov
This website is the federal government's resource for Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association offers information, a help line, and support services to people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center
The ADEAR Center offers information on diagnosis, treatment, patient care, caregiver needs, long-term care and research related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain Health


Brain health describes our ability to remember, learn, plan, concentrate, and maintain a clear, active mind. Maintaining brain health supports our ability to carry out daily activities, be a part of our communities, and connect with family and friends. Protecting our brain health is important as you age.

What is Brain Health?
A federal government website devoted to raising awareness about brain health. Resources and information are provided by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and leading research groups.

Talking About Brain Health & Aging: The Basics
A fact sheet from the Administration for Community Living that covers the basics of brain health.

Publications

Brain Health: You Can Make a Difference

Medicines: Managing the Impact of Medicine on Your Brain Health

Mental Health

Behavioral health issues, such as depression, are not a normal part of aging. Researchers estimate that one in four persons 55 years of age and over experiences behavioral health disorders that are not part of the normal aging process. Despite advances, behavioral health issues among older adults are routinely underdiagnosed and undertreated.

Mental health is integral for well-being and behavioral health issues among older adults are real and treatable. The more that people know about mental health and aging, the more they can help themselves and others.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
TTY: 1-800-799-4889
This 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline is available to anyone in crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in a national network of more than 150 centers.

Mental Health.gov
This website provides one-stop access to mental health information for consumers and families, school systems, local communities, policy makers, professionals, and government and business leaders.

Treatment Referral Routing Service
1-800-662-HELP (4357)
TTY: 1-800-487-4889
This Helpline provides 24-hour, free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental health and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish.

Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255
TTY: 1-800-799-4889
This hotline connects veterans in crisis (and their families and friends) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential, toll-free phone call, online chat, or text.

National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse
The clearinghouse provides a comprehensive central resource for information on national and local consumer programs that have a proven track record of helping people recover from mental illnesses.

National Institute on Aging/NIH: Depression
A publication from the National Institute on Aging regarding depression and older adults.

Promoting Health and Preventing Disease and Injury

Chronic diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis, are among the most common and often preventable of all health problems. Eating a nutritious diet and exercising can often delay or help to control chronic conditions. Screening and early treatment are important to optimizing healthy aging. Preventing falls is important to keep in mind as falls are the leading cause of injuries, including hip fractures and head trauma, among older adults.

Through the Older Americans Act and other programs, older adults can connect to local resources that help them remain as healthy and independent as possible in their homes and communities. Programs include group and home-delivered meals, exercise and interventions that help older adults manage chronic conditions.

To find health, nutrition, and health promotion services in your community, contact your local Area Agency on Aging by entering your ZIP code or city and state in the search bar at the top of this page or speak with an information specialist at the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116.

EatRight.org
This website from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics contains information for older adults who are interested in learning more about nutrition.

MyPlate for Older Adults
MyPlate for Older Adults provides examples of foods that fit into a healthy, well-balanced diet.

Go4Life
The Go4Life campaign is designed to help you fit exercise and physical activity into daily life and provides free exercise materials and videos to help you get ready, start moving, and keep going.

Preventing Falls: Tips for Older Adults & Caregivers
This website offers tips to reduce your risk and protect older loved ones from a serious fall.

CDC - Check for Safety
This brochure helps older adults to identify and eliminate fall hazards in their homes.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Education
This small-group workshop helps participants build the skills necessary to control how chronic conditions affect their life.

Eldercare Locator Publications

Older Adults and Medication Safety

Preventing Falls at Home

Chronic Disease: Improving Health with Self-Management Education Programs

Nutrition: Improving Health Nutrition Assistance

Staying Engaged

Emerging research suggests that older adults who participate in what they see as meaningful activities, like volunteering in their community, report feeling healthier and happier. Some studies find lower rates of dementia among people who stay socially active and connected with others, although no specific activity has been shown to prevent or slow dementia.

Corporation for National and Community Service
This federal website is a resource for volunteers across America.

Doing Good is Good for You: Volunteer!
This brochure provides information about how volunteering may improve health.

Participating in Activities You Enjoy
This NIH page describes the benefits of being active in a community and staying involved.

Connect2Affect
This AARP Foundation effort offers resources to meet the needs of anyone who is isolated or lonely.

General Health Resources

Not sure what you’re looking for? Check out these federal health resources to get started. Links to additional information, including resources on health conditions, are available in the Helpful Resources section of this website.

National Institute on Aging/NIH
This website features basic health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health.

MedlinePlus
This website, produced by the National Library of Medicine, provides consumers with information on diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in understandable language.

Health Information for Older Adults
This section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website promotes health, chronic disease prevention, and quality of life among older Americans.

Healthfinder
This federal government website provides information and tools to help consumers and those they care about stay healthy.