The health, wellness, and aging literature provides a foundation for understanding the health and well-being of a growing aging population. Research identifies four primary health factors—healthy behaviors, medical care, social determinants of health, and the physical environment— that influence an individual’s ability to maintain optimal physical, mental, and social functioning during the aging process.
Health and aging outcomes
Research highlights: Health and aging outcomes summarizes findings from the literature about the current health status of adults 65 and older, as well as trends and projections for the health status of the baby boomer population.
- The age of aging?
- Five common experiences of aging
- Life expectancy
- Leading causes of death
- Primary chronic conditions
- Summary findings: Chronic conditions affecting adults older than 65
- Mental illness
Research highlights: health and aging outcomes (PDF)
Growing evidence demonstrates that healthy behaviors can improve an individual’s physical, mental, and social health, even as they age.
Research highlights: Healthy behaviors and aging explores findings from the literature about the primary healthy behaviors that support aging well—the preservation and maintenance of physical, mental, and social functioning.
- Prevention for older adults
- Physical activity
- Tobacco, alcohol & illicit drug use
- Sexual health
Research highlights: healthy behaviors and aging (PDF)
Medical care is critical for aging well. Medical system issues, such as cost and access to care, impact an individual’s ability to age successfully.
Research highlights: Medical care and aging reviews general trends and challenges in medical care service delivery for the elderly.
- Medicare and Medicaid overview
- Medical service delivery
- Rising healthcare costs
- Affordable Care Act
- Geriatric workforce shortage
- Comprehensive care model
- Health care literacy
- Long-term care
Research highlights: medical care and aging (PDF)
Social determinants of health and aging
Complex interactions between an individual's genetics, environment, healthy behaviors and the social conditions in which they live and work determine an individual's health.
Research highlights: Social factors and healthy aging describes social factors that intersect with health and aging well, such as education, income and race.
- Individual factors
- Community factors
- System factors
Research highlights social factors and healthy aging (PDF)
Environment and aging
Clean air and safe, walkable neighborhoods can support successful aging by promoting independent living, physical activity and social connection, and providing access to nutritious foods.