AHRQ, AARP Offer At-a-Glance Health Resources for Adults Over 50

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the AARP have released two new checklists designed to help men and women over the age of 50 learn what they can do to stay healthy and prevent disease. The groups also released an accompanying wall chart providing a timeline that can be posted in both clinical and community settings providing information about recommended preventive services. These three publications are:

  • Men: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health
  • Women: Stay Healthy at 50+, Checklists for Your Health and
  • the timeline: Staying Healthy at 50+

All three are designed to 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."

The checklists, 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, noted AHRQ. 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.

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 with 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 checklists are available on the AHRQ Web site at www.ahrq.gov/ppip/men50.htm and www.ahrq.gov/ppip/women50.htm; the timeline is available on the AHRQ Web site at www.ahrq.gov/ppip/50plusposter.htm. The publications also may be ordered by calling AHRQ's Publications Clearinghouse at 1-800-358-9295 or sending an E-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.hhs.gov.

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