248445 A Seamless Approach to Providing Health Education and Promotion Programs for Older Adults

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Maria Avalos, BS, CHES , Health & Wellness, West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc., Tampa, FL
Christine Spiker, MPH, CPH , Health & Wellness, West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc., Tampa, FL
Charlotte McHenry, MPH , West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging, Inc., Tampa, FL
Access to care and managing chronic health conditions represent two of the major issues facing seniors today. Navigating the complexities of the social and healthcare systems creates an overwhelming experience leading to uncertainty and frustration. To promote a seamless approach to providing Health Education and Promotion to elders, the West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging (WCFAAA) has adopted innovative practices to ensure that medically underserved seniors are reached. Some of these best practices include developing an infrastructure to support programming, merging of categorical grants (Older Americans Act- the aging network's most sustained funding) with block grants (i.e., American Recovery and Reinvestment Act- more short-term funding), utilizing the Elder Helpline as a referral system, and using evidenced-based programming. Establishing community partners, hiring qualified personnel, providing necessary training opportunities, and investing in staff are the vital components of WCFAAA's successful infrastructure. By merging multiple funding sources, WCFAAA ensures the best use of resources and promotes program sustainability. With the assistance of the Elder Helpline, an information and referral service available to seniors and their caregivers, the Elder Helpline staff properly identify target participants and refer to appropriate Health Education and Promotion programs, primarily the evidenced-based programs. The use of evidenced-based programming proves advantageous due to its foundation on empirical evidence and known outcomes. The aforementioned practices proved valuable to WCFAAA and if adapted accordingly, this approach can be replicated with other agencies within the aging and public health networks.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1.Increase their knowledge and understanding of evidence-based program planning 2.Describe at least three characteristics of an evidence-based health education program 3. List at least three strategies needed to implement a successful evidence-based health education program for older adults 4.Identify local and national resources available to assist with evidence-based program planning

Keywords: Aging, Elderly

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee and coordinate programs such as chronic disease prevention/management, falls prevention, and other health promotion programs.
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.