Evidence-based programs (EBPs) offer proven ways to promote health and prevent disease among older adults. They are based on research and provide documented health benefits, so you can be confident they work. People who participate in EBPs learn about and build skills to improve their health. Types of programs include lowering the risk of falls, managing chronic conditions (such as diabetes), engaging in physical activity, and proactively managing mental health.
Solid Research: EBPs are based on rigorous study of the effects or outcomes of specific interventions or model programs. They demonstrate reliable and consistently positive changes in important health-related and functional measures.
Packaged Programs: Tested model programs are translated into practical, effective community-based programs. If you implement one, you will receive a packaged program with a variety of supportive materials. As a result, the program’s content and fidelity will be consistent in all settings, and it will be easy to deliver. Packages usually include implementation manuals and specialized training.
Why use EBPs?
EBPs can educate older adults about important health information, including proven strategies for managing chronic conditions and preventing falls.
Reduce Chronic Diseases and Falls: The percentage of older individuals in the population has increased with each decade, and the proportion of persons 75 years and older has grown even faster. As a result, chronic diseases and falls have increased and are now the leading causes of death and disability among older Americans. Fortunately, both chronic diseases and falls are highly preventable. EBPs can help turn the tide and raise older adults’ quality of life—improving health behaviors, health and functional status, and overall well-being.
What are the benefits of EBPs?
EBPs work! They are based on rigorous study of interventions and model programs carried out with multiple populations in a variety of settings. Therefore, they are more likely to produce positive changes or outcomes for people who participate.
Benefits to Older Adults:
- Improved quality of life
- Increased self-efficacy in managing one’s health
- Increased or maintained independence, positive health behaviors, or mobility
- Reduced disability (fewer falls, later onset or fewer years of disability, etc.)
- Reduced pain
- Improved mental health (including delays in loss of cognitive function and positive effects on depressive symptoms)
EBPs are offered through both local and national organizations. Programs can be offered in-person or virtually. You can find EBPs at your local community-based health care organizations, your local Area Agency on Aging, or ask your medical providers for suggestions.
Source: National Council on Aging
We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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