OHSU
ORH News Large

AHRQ and AARP Team to Help Adults Over 50 Stay Healthy

03/31/10  Online

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the AARP joined to develop two new checklists and an accompanying wall chart, designed to help men and women over the age of 50 learn what they can do to stay healthy and prevent disease.

 The Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline, provides information about recommended preventive services and can be posted in both clinical and community settings.  These three publications Men: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health; Women: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health; and the Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline show at a glance the evidence-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force regarding screening tests, preventive medicines and healthy lifestyle behaviors for people 50 and older.

“As we age, what we need to do to stay healthy begins to change,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D.  “These new easy-to-read checklists help Americans age 50 and older realize the important steps they can take to stay healthy.”

Checklists for Health, available in English and Spanish, are brochures that adults can take along to medical appointments and are designed to help patients and clinicians engage in discussions about necessary preventive screening tests.  Unlike diagnostic tests, which clinicians order when they suspect someone has a disease, screening tests help check for problems before symptoms are apparent.  Patients can use the checklists to record their screening test history and plan follow-up medical appointments. Both checklists also provide tips about other things to do to stay healthy, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising.

“Good health is important and it is important that people know what steps to take to remain healthy as they get older,” says Scott Ekblad, Director, Oregon Office of Rural Health.  “This is a great step by step way for people to stay healthy.”

The Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline displays the Task Force’s recommendations for preventive care for men and women age 50 and older in a wall chart, and it is designed to be posted in places such as clinicians’ offices, senior centers, fitness centers, pharmacies and other public locations.

“Equipping people with the tools and information to stay healthy is important for healthy aging,” said Josefina G. Carbonell, Assistant Secretary for Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “We are eager to promote the use of these checklists through Aging Network Community Based Partners that reach more than 10.4 million older people and their caregivers and deliver evidence- based health promotion and disease prevention programs.”

The Task Force is the leading independent panel of experts in prevention and primary care.  The Task Force, which is supported by AHRQ, conducts rigorous, impartial assessments of the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of a broad range of clinical preventive services, including screening, counseling and preventive medications.  Its recommendations are considered the gold standard for clinical preventive services.

Men: Stay Healthy at 50+, Your Checklists for Health and Women: Stay Healthy at 50+, Your Checklists for Health are available on the AHRQ website for men and women.  The Staying Healthy at 50+ timeline poster is also available on the AHRQ website.  The publications may be ordered by calling AHRQ’s Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or sending an e-mail to .