243381 Maintaing health and well-being: A longitudinal examination of older adults at a community-based wellness center

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 8:30 AM

Kristina M. Kelly, PhD , Applied Survey Research, San Jose, CA
As the number of adults over age 65 in the United States continues to grow, identifying community-based programs that are successful in helping older adults maintain health becomes increasingly important. In one wellness center serving low-income older adults in San Mateo County, California, longitudinal surveys conducted every four to six months since December 2008 have tracked changes over time in the eating and nutrition, physical activity levels, social connectedness, and physical and mental health of 94 wellness center participants. Analyses comparing participants' initial versus later survey responses suggest that participation in the set of wellness programs is most strongly associated with improvements in the emotional well-being of older adults. There was additional evidence of increased engagement in physical activities outside of the wellness center and enhanced knowledge of community resources for assistance with commonly reported needs of older adults. Few improvements were observed in participants' eating and nutrition, however; the percentage of participants who were eating recommended servings of various food groups remained fairly low across time. Initially high levels of autonomy, self-care, and health monitoring behaviors were maintained over time as well. Patterns among different subgroups of older adults participating in the center are currently being explored to determine whether some types of participants are particularly likely to show improvements over time.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe changes over time in the health and functioning of older adults at a wellness center. Compare trends for different groups of older adults.

Keywords: Aging, Wellness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted the study and analyzed the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.