Health Promotion for Successful Aging

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Date of Original Version



The rising costs of health and social support systems for an aging population will become unsustainable without proactive steps to create individual and environmental changes that promote successful aging. Unfortunately, many older adults do not currently have a healthy lifestyle and are at risk for poor health outcomes, including chronic illnesses and mortality. The authors review the behavioral and psychosocial correlates of health and well-being, which include resilience, self-efficacy, smoking, physical activity, diet, good sleep, and having a strong social network, and linked them to the concept of successful aging. They discuss the unique challenges of maintaining health behaviors among older adults over time and review 3 of the most common approaches to lifestyle intervention in older adults (ie, social cognitive theory, the transtheoretical model, and social ecological models). They conclude that initiation and maintenance of behaviors require perceptions of control (self-efficacy), a belief in the positive health outcomes for performing these behaviors, and a value for the outcome (outcome expectancy) for successful aging to be realized. Moreover, more research is needed that takes a broader ecological perspective that makes use of multilevel strategies to behavior change in older adults. © 2009, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine