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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|August 20th, 2004
||Contact: AoA Press Office
Administration On Aging Seeks Partners To Promote Healthy
The U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) is announcing that it
will start enrolling partners on September 1 in a new campaign
called “You Can! Steps to Healthier Aging.” The campaign
aims to boost physical activity and improve food choices among
older Americans, and is based on growing awareness among public
health officials and medical experts that even modest improvements
in diet and activity can promote healthy aging.
Today there are 80 million Americans over the age of 50. Many
individuals are aging well and living longer than any time in
history. Still far too many people are inactive and sedentary,
said Josefina G. Carbonell, AoA’s Assistant Secretary for
Aging. “We can do more, and our best weapons are literally
in our own hands: the food we choose to eat, and the activities
that get us moving. Older adults tend to be healthier, feel better,
and maintain their mobility and independence longer when they
take these simple steps,” she added.
The You Can! Steps to Healthier Aging Campaign is a part of
HHS’s Steps to a HealthierUS initiative– launched
in 2003 by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson—to
help all Americans make healthier choices. For older Americans,
healthy choices are especially important. Medical research shows
that a healthy diet and physical activity can reduce the onset
of chronic diseases and their risk factors such as diabetes,
heart disease, some types of cancers, high blood pressure and
high cholesterol, as well as obesity.
AoA developed the You Can! campaign as a strategy that builds
on the commitment and local experience of community organizations
in every state. The agency will provide a complete kit to organizations
that cater to seniors and decide to enroll that includes activity
guides, publicity templates, and rewards for participants. In
turn, the participating organization agrees to implement campaign
elements, large or small, in its community.
“We’ve worked hard to build a solid campaign that
our partners can easily and safely adapt to their own community
and to their own level of resources. I am proud to invite community
organizations across the country to sign on to this worthy endeavor, ” Carbonell
“AoA really understands our community and the people we
serve,” said Jackie Sims, Executive Director of the Danville-Boyle
County Gathering Place for Senior Adults in Danville, Kentucky. “AoA
recognizes the importance of addressing lifestyle choices at
the local level, and this toolkit is full of items that make
it easy for groups like mine to get started easily and quickly.
Our seniors want to be involved, to try new things, and we are
delighted to be able to participate in the You Can! campaign.”
The free toolkit includes material to help partners publicize
the campaign and recruit individuals (step-by-step publicity
guide, letterhead, ready-to-print logos), a guidebook presented
in a building-block format that contains week-by-week activities
for participants; and tools and incentives for older Americans
who participate (logbook to chart suggested activities, certificates).
The campaign will also sponsor national activities such as a
national challenge event in Fall 2005.
To become a You Can! partner and introduce older Americans in
your community to the campaign, log on to: You
Can! Steps to Healthier Aging.
Enrollment begins September 1st.