This is the first paper written for this section by one of the participants in the Health and Aging Policy Fellowship (HAPF), a program supported by Atlantic Philanthropies (see http://www.healthandagingpolicy.org).
Ethics, Public Policy, & Medical Economics
Built Environment and Mobility of Older Adults: Important Policy and Practice Efforts
Article first published online: 9 MAY 2012
© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 60, Issue 5, pages 951–956, May 2012
How to Cite
Yen, I. H. and Anderson, L. A. (2012), Built Environment and Mobility of Older Adults: Important Policy and Practice Efforts. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 60: 951–956. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.03949.x
These papers are intended to make readers aware of important health policy questions, describe how various government agencies and other organizations are addressing them, and illustrate how geriatrics health professionals, armed with the training provided by programs such as the HAPF, can participate in shaping health policy to improve geriatric care in the United States.
- Issue published online: 15 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 9 MAY 2012
- Atlantic Philanthropies
- DC Healthy Aging Program
- healthy aging;
- public policy
As people age, they prefer to “age in place.” The concept of aging in place refers to the ability to live in one's own home, wherever that might be, for as long as one can feel confident and comfortable. Where people live and whether these environments can support them are critical questions for public health and public policy, especially since the baby boomers began to turn 65 on January 1, 2011. Equally important for public policy, those aged 85 and older are the fastest growing population group in the United States. The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Aging Program, has supported a project to determine how design features of the built environment can support the mobility of older adults. Mobility refers to physical activity, usually walking, but also encompasses the ability to stay connected to nearby community resources and services. The project's purpose is to investigate features that support mobility in built environments. This policy brief introduces the realist synthesis method used in the project and selected national initiatives and activities to place this work in a broader context. Given the importance of mobility concerns to older adults, it must be determined without delay which design features support mobility and how local areas can better prepare to support the health of their aging populations.