ResearchPad - special-issue:-aging-and-public-health Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Creating an Age-Friendly Public Health System]]> The public health system in America—at all levels—has relatively few specialized initiatives that prioritize the health and well-being of older adults. And when public health does address the needs of older adults, it is often as an afterthought. In consultation with leaders in public health, health care, and aging, an innovative Framework for an Age-Friendly Public Health System (Framework) was developed outlining roles that public health could fulfill, in collaboration with aging services, to address the challenges and opportunities of an aging society.Research Design and MethodsWith leadership from Trust for America’s Health and The John A. Hartford Foundation, the Florida Departments of Health and Elder Affairs are piloting the implementation of this Framework within Florida’s county health departments and at the state level. The county health departments are expanding data collection efforts to identify older adult needs, creating new alliances with aging sector partners, coordinating with other agencies and community organizations to implement evidence-based programs and policies that address priority needs, and aligning efforts with the age-friendly communities and age-friendly health systems movements.Results, and Discussion and ImplicationsThe county health departments in Florida participating in the pilot are leveraging the Framework to expand public health practice, programs, and policies that address health services and health behaviors, social, and economic factors and environmental conditions that allow older adults to age in place and live healthier and more productive lives. The model being piloted in Florida can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each community and their older adult population. ]]> <![CDATA[A Practical Methodology for Improving the Aging-Friendliness of Communities: Case Studies from Three U.S. Communities]]>


Background and Objectives

In this paper, we present a series of three case studies to illustrate an innovative and practical approach to improving the aging-friendliness of communities. These three communities used the AdvantAge Initiative to “listen” to the voices of older adults in their communities and to identify and prioritize aging-related issues. This approach was developed by the Center for Home Care Policy and Research at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY), the largest not-for-profit home health care organization in the United States, and has been implemented in over 60 communities throughout the United States. The methodology involves tools such as conceptual frameworks, survey questionnaires, focus groups, and technical assistance to help stakeholders interpret data and find solutions to identified issues.

Research Design and Methods

We interviewed VNSNY program staff and community partners involved in three AdvantAge Initiative projects that commenced at varying time points: Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee (2012); New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood (2006); and the state of Indiana (2008). We also collected and reviewed secondary materials associated with these projects (e.g., meeting notes from community planning meetings, annual reports from grant recipients, press coverage).


In this case study, we begin by providing an overview of the AdvantAge Initiative framework and the AdvantAge Initiative key indicators. We then present a more in-depth look at the three communities and how they approached and implemented the AdvantAge Initiative.

Discussion and Implications

These case studies demonstrate that this methodology may be implemented in diverse communities and geographic locations. By looking at the longer-term outcomes and by comparing the strategies employed by each community, we see that communities, regardless of size, can bring stakeholders together to promote health and implement meaningful changes that make the community a better place to live for older adults and their families.