Report Highlights Needs of Older Adults

by Joy Keller on May 01, 2007

Fitness professionals are already in the business of health promotion. A recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Merck Company Foundation offers insight into key areas that need to be addressed among the older-adult population. The report, The State of Aging and Health in America 2007, presents current data on 15 key health indicators, including health status, health behaviors, preventive care and screening, and injuries for older Americans.

According to the report, 80% of Americans aged 65 and older live with at least one chronic disease that could lead to premature death and disability. Nearly 95% of healthcare expenditures go toward treating chronic health conditions. The report cites two demographic trends—aging Baby Boomers and increasing racial and ethnic diversity—that will add to the challenges of addressing chronic diseases. By 2030, the number of older Americans is expected to reach 71 million, or roughly 20% of the U.S. population. The report also estimates that by that same year, U.S. healthcare spending will have increased by 25%, owing to the aging of the population.

Among the many calls to action recommended in the report are environmental changes to facilitate physical activity and a “spotlight” on fall prevention, the leading cause of injury-related deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries among older adults. To read more about what IDEA members are doing every day to address the specialized needs of older adults, read “Upgrading Aging” on page 17.

A searchable online version of The State of Aging and Health in America 2007 is available at www.cdc.gov/aging.

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© 2007 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.