Motivating People Over 50 to Receive Preventive Health Services

    • May 29, 2013

Dates of Project: 2010 to 2013

Field of Work: Preventive health services for people aged 50 and over

Problem Synopsis: Fewer than 26 to 27 percent of adults aged 50 to 64—and fewer than 50 percent of those over age 65—are up to date on preventive health screenings and vaccinations.

Synopsis of the Work: Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration (SPARC) conducted research and planning for a new program, 5over50, to spur older adults to tap five key preventive services: flu and pneumonia vaccines, cancer screenings, screenings for cardiovascular disease, preventive medications and healthy behavior counseling.

Key Recommendations

Interviews with older adults across the country that revealed key motivators for the use of preventive services led the project team to recommend that 5over50 should:

  • Educate people on the value of preventive services for everyone, not just those at high risk, and capitalize on their motivations for staying healthy.
  • Make it easy for people to engage these services where they live, work, and play, such as gyms, workplaces, and houses of worship.
  • Leverage trusted brands and personalities, and use communications channels ranging from TV and radio ads to outreach at golf and gardening clubs.
  • Offer rewards for the use of preventive services from retailers, employers, and insurance companies.
  • Reinforce residents’ sense of participating in a community-wide endeavor.
  • Inspire continued engagement by citing tangible evidence of the benefits of preventive services.