253709 Environmental and Policy Systems to Enhance Healthy Aging: Rationale and Evidence

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:30 PM

William Satariano, PhD , School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
There is growing interest in developing and evaluating environmentally-based policies and programs to enhance health and well-being in a growing and increasingly diverse aging population. Although there is a growing body of research in public health indicating that elements of the built environment, e.g., land-use patterns, housing, and transportation systems, are associated with health, functioning, and mobility, there are significant challenges associated with the development and evaluation of programs and policies derived from that research. The rationale and evidence for environmentally-based programs and policies are reviewed. Special attention is given to the distinction between programs and policies based on “environmental adaptation” and “environmental modification.” Environmental adaptations do not require actual changes to the built environment. Instead, programs, such as safe walking and driving routes, are designed to link older adults to the best features of the existing environment. In contrast, environmental modifications entail actual structural changes to the environment, such as construction, repair, and alterations of sidewalks and roadways. Finally, a research and policy agenda, based on elements of the built environment, is presented to enhance healthy aging

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain rationale and evidence for environmental and policy systems change to support healthy aging and prevent and/or delay disease and disability.

Keywords: Environment, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UC Berkeley. I co-lead the HAN Member Center located at UC Berkeley. I have been teaching and conducting research in the field of public health for 30+ years.
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.