Health and Wellness
Maintaining good health is important at any age and our agency offers information on health issues specifically affecting older adults. The PA Department of Health also offers a wide variety of information and services for all Pennsylvanians, including older adults.
In addition to any private health insurance you may have, a variety of options is available to pay for health care services. Medical Assistance is a state-administered health program for low-income people.
There are several types of medical assistance available and your local county assistance office can help you determine which type you qualify for.
Medicare provides health insurance coverage to individuals age 65 and older and to certain people with disabilities.
APPRISE is a free health insurance counseling program designed to help older Pennsylvanians with Medicare issues and other questions.
Your local Area Agencies on Aging
APPRISE helpline: 1-800-783-7067
Medicare Hotline: 1-800-MEDICARE
Prime Time Health
Staying healthy and fit is important at any age and the Department of Aging offers a program called PrimeTime Health designed especially for adults.
PrimeTime Health is the Department of Aging's health promotion and disease prevention program offered by AAAs at senior centers and other community locations where seniors reside. Programs offered help older adults stay healthy and fit at any age. Activities include a fall prevention program, medication and/or chronic condition management, health screenings, exercise, and much more. Contact your PrimeTime Health coordinator at your local Area Agency on Aging for more information. Three of the fundamental programs sponsored by Prime Time Health are:
1. The Healthy Steps for Older Adults Falls Prevention Initiative
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging offers a falls prevention program for adults 50 years of age and older. The program is designed to raise awareness of falls, introduce steps on how to reduce falls, improve overall health, and provide referrals and resources. See an excerpt of the Healthy Steps class guide. For the Spanish version, click here. For more infomation about Healthy Steps for Older adults, click here.
2. Healthy Steps in Motion Exercise for Strength and Balance
Healthy Steps in Motions (HSIM) is an exercise program developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in partnership with the University of California at Berkeley for adults 50 years of age and older with different fitness levels - beginner, intermediate or advanced. Healthy Steps in Motion is an eight week program with two one-hour classes each week that offers exercise routines to build strength (especially in the lower body), increase flexibility and improve balance. Each participant receives a colorful calendar-style booklet with directions and illustrations of exercises as well as information about how to set goals and keep track of progress. Adults age 50 and older can contact their Area Agency on Aging for more information. For more information on Healthy Steps in Motion, click here.
3. Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging, in partnership with Stanford University, offers the Chronic Disease Self-Management program to help older adults better manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, emphysema, and hypertension. The goal of the program is to improve physical capability and pleasure from life by learning methods to better manage one's own illness. For more information on the Chronic Disease Self-Management programs, click here.
Health, Prevention and Wellness AoA Library
Pennsylvania Senior Games
Active older adults should consider participating in the Pennsylvania Senior games, held each summer.
Centers for Disease Control Nutrition and Physical Activity Site
Healthy People 2020
Behavioral Health Risks for Older Adults
Mental Health Services are accessed through programs covering all 67 Pennsylvania Counties. Services include counseling, case management, crisis/emergency services, residential and rehabilitative services for individuals and their families. All residents are eligible, regardless of age.
Your local County Mental Health System
Click Here for information on Alzheimer's Disease.
Adults over 65, especially those who are frail or have other health problems, are particularly susceptible to dying from the flu or a related illness such as pneumonia.
The most important step to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is safe and effective for most people and can prevent up to 60 percent of hospitalizations and 80 percent of deaths from flu-related complications among older adults.
Flu Shot Clinic Locator
Contact: Pennsylvania Department of Health, 1-877-PAHEALTH (1-877-724-3258)
Intellectual Disability services may be available to you through programs covering all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. Services include counseling, case management, crisis/emergency services, residential and rehabilitative services for individuals and their families. All residents of Pennsylvania who have had a diagnosis of intellectual disability are eligible.
Resources are available through the state Office of Developmental Programs, or you may contact your County Mental Retardation System for information on services available to those with intellectual disabilities. The Joint Committee on Older Persons with Mental Retardation promotes dignity and quality of life for all persons with developmental disabilities.
Healthy Eating = Healthy Living library of nutrition and healthy eating tips for older adults
Older Pennsylvanians have access to nutritious meals through several methods. Meals are often free of charge.
Senior community centers typically serve meals once a day around noon, five days a week
Home delivered meals may be delivered daily or weekly.
Food stamp benefits are available for eligible individuals and vary in amounts provided. Contact the Local County Assistance Office for more information and to apply for these benefits.
During the summer months, the Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides eligible older adults four checks totaling $20 to purchase Pennsylvania grown fruits and vegetables.
Contact: Talk to your local Area Agency on Aging for additional information and eligibility requirements.
Frequently asked questions about nutrition services