Philadelphia Corporation for Aging
Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) began using the National Prevention Strategy (NPS) in 2013 to enhance its mission to help older adults remain independent, healthy, and productive in the community. As the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) for Philadelphia, PCA is part of a national network of 618 AAAs created under the Older Americans Act. Although each AAA is unique in size, structure, and funding, promoting wellness and active aging while preventing unnecessary institutionalization and avoidable chronic conditions are at the heart of their work. “As our nation’s population ages and as people live longer, it is more important than ever for AAAs and public health professionals to join forces to promote the NPS’s goal to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life,” notes David Nevison, Chief Planning, Development, and Government Relations Officer for PCA.
Community gardens give elders the opportunity to grow their own
food, exercise, share knowledge and express creativity.
PCA began by creating an inventory illustrating its alignment with the Strategic Directions and Priorities of the NPS. Examples include:
- Healthy and Safe Community Environments: PCA collaborates with urban planners and local policy makers to support housing, zoning, public space, and transportation policies that help seniors age in the community.
- Clinical and Community Preventive Services: PCA is working on a pilot program with two local hospitals and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reduce hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge for Medicare fee-for-service patients.
- Empowered People: PCA funds several evidenced-based programs in senior centers, such as the Chronic Disease Self- Management and Healthy Steps programs, designed to help older adults take control of their own well-being.
- Healthy Eating: After the public school system, PCA is the city’s second largest provider of nutritious prepared meals, which are either home-delivered or served at senior centers.
- Active Living: The agency promotes senior walking groups and elder gardening efforts at senior centers and housing throughout the city.
- Injury and Violence Free Living: PCA is a national leader in the area of Older Adult Protective Services, developing innovative approaches and new partnerships to build general awareness of the Elder Justice Act.
Moving forward, PCA has committed to using the National Prevention Strategy as a:
- Link to connect the agency to broader public health agendas
- Vehicle to build multi-disciplinary collaborations around environment and aging
- Tool to assist senior-focused organizations to enhance prevention activities
- Guide in writing its mandated 2016–2020 Area Plan, due to the state in June 2015
- Reference for designing programming in select areas, such as HIV/AIDS education
- Framework for future research and grant applications
PCA continues to inspire like-minded organizations, locally and nationally, to use the NPS and join the national prevention movement. Read more about PCA's work to advance the National Prevention Strategy.
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