HHS Strategic Goals and Objectives - FY 2001 . Objective 2.5 - Increase the Proportion of Older Americans Who Stay Active and Healthy


How We Will Accomplish Our Objective

We will support an initiative to prevent falls--a leading cause of functional decline in the elderly. Older couple walking on the beachOur strategy will focus on:

  • supporting a cooperative fall-prevention demonstration program with state and local health departments, our aging network, Medicare PROs, and other partners.

  • implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of a national education program to reduce fire and fall-related injuries among older adults (in collaboration with the National Fire Protection Association).

  • monitoring incidence and causes of falls in older Americans and responding with appropriate interventions.

  • developing and disseminating information on physical activities that increase muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility, which will improve individuals' ability to perform the tasks of daily living and improve overall balance.

We will promote expansion of health care services that contribute to the prevention of functional decline in the elderly. Our strategy includes:

2.5 Implementation Strategies
  • Fall Prevention Programs
  • Health Care Services
  • Aging Services
  • Research
  • providing health care providers with information about the preventive and primary health care and chronic disease management needs of the elderly.

  • disseminating "Put Prevention Into Practice," a national campaign targeted at people over age 50, to improve the delivery of clinical preventive services such as screening tests, immunizations, and counseling for life style and behavior changes.

  • developing and implementing new arthritis awareness programs.

We will fund and provide technical assistance for basic services, such as meals and transportation, that combat factors that lead to functional decline in the elderly (e.g., poor nutrition, social isolation, and poverty).

We will support a program of biomedical, behavioral, and health services research to:

  • better understand the aging process and the factors (social, health, and services) that contribute to healthy aging and prolonged independent functioning.

  • increase understanding of the behaviors that lead beneficiaries to utilize preventative services covered by the Medicare program.

    HHS Agencies contributing to this objective:


  • create an evidence-based center on healthy aging using the best available science to identify what works to promote health and prevent functional decline in the Medicare population.

  • develop effective strategies for preventing substance abuse by older Americans, specifically focusing on common problems such as medication misuse/abuse, alcohol abuse, and alcohol in combination with medications.

  • determine the occupational safety and health risks of older workers and the impact of these risks on their safety, health, disability, and employment; and develop effective interventions to reduce these risks and promote a healthy work experience.