"We are talking about a concerted effort to align messages that build awareness, about creating environments that make services readily available and convenient and adopting public policies that promote healthy behaviors and increase access to services," McKenna said. "This can make a discernable impact on our nation's health, health care and social services."
In addition, the report discusses model programs, policies and strategies that communities can adopt together with health-care partners, to ensure services get to those who need them. It also highlights proven strategies that clinics and communities have used to promote preventive services.
One such program, called SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration), is an organization in the community responsible for looking at what services are needed and organizing these services, as well as getting services to people, Anderson said.
Individuals should look at "what kind of services do you need--what do I need to do to maximize my own health? What are the things I can do make sure as I am growing older that I avoid having chronic illnesses? That I make sure I get the physical activity I need, I make sure I am the right weight, so I can do the things I want to do," Anderson said.
"It's not just about health -- it's really quality of life," she said.
For more information on healthy aging, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: Lynda A. Anderson, Ph.D., director, Healthy Aging Program, U.S. Centers for Disease Contr
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