Office for the Aging


Evidence-Based Interventions Health Promotion/Wellness/Healthy Aging

Chronic diseases cause pain/disability, loss of function/independence and increase health care costs. According to the latest report by the CDC at least 80% of older adults are living with one chronic disease and 50% have two chronic diseases (CDC). The most prevalent chronic diseases which are considered our nations top killers are associated with lifestyle behaviors. The top three actual reasons for death are considered to be lack of physical activity, poor diet, and use of tobacco. A challenge for health promotion is that the consequences for these types of unhealthy behaviors may not be evident for years. It is often at older ages that the consequences for years of unhealthy behaviors emerge. However, it is important to educate people that even at older ages, even if one is living with chronic conditions, quality of life can still be improved by engaging in healthy behaviors.

Prevention and wellness programs are cost-effective methods of maintaining independence for older persons and reducing the use of health and long-term care system services. As longevity continues to increase and we witness growth in the number of people aged 85 and over (those most vulnerable to social, physical, emotional, and mental frailty), NYSOFA will continue to accelerate its efforts to promote and coordinate prevention and wellness initiatives, including:

  • Increasing the emphasis on health and wellness through focused/targeted program initiatives,
  • Coordinating these activities with the Governors new chronic disease prevention initiatives and the evidence-based self-management program funded by the Administration on Aging.
  • Expansion of the NYSOFA Health Benefits Check-Up program to increase the use of Medicare preventive services screenings for chronic illnesses.

During SFY 2010-11 NYSOFA provided more than 105,300 units of health promotion/disease prevention services, including 36 recognized evidenced-based programs, to 53,300 participants with $3.4 million in funding from all sources.