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Health Reports & Data

Older Adults

Goal

Improve the health, function, and quality of life of older adults.

Overview

Older adults are among the fastest growing age groups, and the first “baby boomers” (adults born between 1946 and 1964) will turn 65 in 2011. More than 37 million people in this group (60 percent) will manage more than 1 chronic condition by 2030.1

Older adults are at high risk for developing chronic illnesses and related disabilities. These chronic conditions include:

•    Diabetes mellitus
•    Arthritis
•    Congestive heart failure
•    Dementia

Many experience hospitalizations, nursing home admissions, and low-quality care. They also may lose the ability to live independently at home. Chronic conditions are the leading cause of death among older adults.2

Why is Older Adults Important?

Health Services

  • Preventive health services are valuable for maintaining the quality of life and wellness of older adults. In fact, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 includes provisions related to relevant Medicare services. However, preventive services are underused, especially among certain racial and ethnic groups.2,3
  • Ensuring quality health care for older adults is difficult, but the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has programs designed to improve physician, hospital, and nursing home care, among others.
  • Older adults use many health care services, have complex conditions, and require professional expertise that meets their needs. Most providers receive some type of training on aging, but the percentage of those who actually specialize in this area is small. More certified specialists are needed to meet the needs of this group.4

Quality of Life

  • Through programs that address chronic illnesses, Federal Government agencies are improving the quality of life for older adults. To combat existing health disparities, many of these programs target minorities and underserved populations.
  • The ability to complete basic daily activities may decrease if illness, chronic disease, or injury limit physical or mental abilities of older adults. These limitations make it hard for older adults to remain at home. Early prevention and physical activity can help prevent such declines. Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of older adults engage in enough physical activity, and fewer do strength training.5,6 Minority populations often have lower rates of physical activity.
  • Most older adults want to remain in their communities as long as possible. Unfortunately, when they acquire disabilities, there is often not enough support available to help them. States that invest in such services show lower rates of growth in long-term care expenditures.

Caregivers

  • Each year, 1 out of 3 older adults falls.7,8 Falls often cause severe disability among survivors.9 Injuries from falls lead to:
  • Fear of falling
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Impaired function
  • Lower quality of life

Additional Resources

HP2020’s National Objectives for Older Adults
HHDW Reports on Older Adults

References

  1. American Hospital Association; First Consulting Group. When I’m 64: How boomers will change health care. Chicago: American Hospital Association; 2007. 23 p.
  2. Kramarow E, Lubitz J, Lentzner H, et al. Trends in the health of older Americans, 1970–2005. Health Aff (Millwood). 2007 Sep–Oct;26(5):1417-25.
  3. US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare claims data [Internet]. Baltimore: CMS; 2010 [cited 2010 February 22].
  4. Institute of Medicine. Committee on the Future Health Care Workforce for Older Americans. Retooling for an aging America. Washington: National Academies Press; 2008.
  5. Christmas C, Andersen RA. Exercise and older patients: Guidelines for the clinician. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2000 Mar;48(3):318-24.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Strength training among adults aged ≥65 years—United States, 2001. MMWR. 2004 Jan 23;53(2):25-8.
  7. Hornbrook MC, Stevens VJ, Wingfield DJ, et al. Preventing falls among community-dwelling older persons: Results from a randomized trial. Gerontologist. 1994 Feb;34(1):16-23.
  8. Hausdorff JM, Rios DA, Edelberg HK. Gait variability and fall risk in community-living older adults: A one-year prospective study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001 Aug;82(8):1050-6.
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Injury Control and Prevention Web-based injury statistics query and reporting system (WISQRS) [Internet]. Atlanta: CDC; 2010 [cited 2010 April 8]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html
  10. National Research Council (US), Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect. Elder mistreatment: Abuse, neglect and exploitation in an aging America. Richard J. Bonnie and Robert B. Wallace, editors. Washington: National Academies Press; 2003.
ID
OBJECTIVES AND SUB-OBJECTIVES

OA-2
Increase the proportion of older adults who are up to date on a core set of clinical preventive services
State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of men aged 65 years and older who reported receiving a flu shot in the past year, a pneumonia vaccination ever, and either a colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy in the past 10 years or a fecal occult blood test in the past year. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
33.0% (2011)

Most Recent State Value:
38.3% (2015)

HP2020 Target:
National: 44.6%

National Data Source:
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

State Data Source:
Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Data Reports:
Hawaii-IBIS
HHM Report

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of women aged 65 years and older who reported receiving a flu shot in the past year, a pneumonia vaccination ever, a mammogram in the past two years, and either a colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy in the past 10 years or a fecal occult blood test in the past year. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
38.4% (2011)

Most Recent State Value:
35.6% (2015)

HP2020 Target:
National: 46.8%

National Data Source:
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

State Data Source:
Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Data Reports:
Hawaii-IBIS
HHM Report

State Indicator Definition:
Number of emergency department visits for falls among people aged 65 years and older per 100,000 population of the same age. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
2,483 emergency department visits per 100,000 persons aged 65 years and older (2007-2011)

HP2020 Target:
National: 4,711.6 emergency department visits per 100,000 persons aged 65 years and older

National Data Source:
National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey

State Data Source:
Hawaii Health Information Corporation

Data Reports:
HHM Report