Photo credit: Julie Turkewitz
Promoting better health at any age
Whether your interest is in health access or advocacy, health promotion or education, mental health, research, community health, support services or caregiving, health and aging are intertwined. Together, they are central to quality of life for older adults.
All too often, our society overemphasizes aging difficulties—disability, decline, disease, and dependency. But in fact, almost three-quarters of older people today are healthy. They want to be engaged in their communities. This engagement in turn promotes healthy aging and strengthens the vitality of our families, communities and the nation. Older people are unpaid caregivers, advocates for health reform, and volunteers in community programs; they are also parenting grandchildren and retraining in health care careers.
Clearly, we must attend to the needs of the small fraction of older, frail adults who live with chronic health conditions and need support to remain in their homes for as long as possible. A common assumption is that federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid cover all the health care costs for older adults. The reality is that they don’t.
Improving health care for older adults improves care for all. As you will see in this section, grantmakers are advancing innovative and highly effective programs that improve the quality of health care and increase access at all levels, in local hospitals and clinics to multi-site national initiatives.
There are numerous ways your foundation can integrate aging with health funding. Chances are if you are funding in health, you already do.
For quick links to each of the main sections in All Together: GIA’s Comprehensive Guide to Funding in Aging, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.