National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Book Selections and Health Resources: Healthy Aging

Share Health Information

Although library staff cannot answer specific questions about medical conditions or treatment options, they can guide their community members to trusted health information so that they can make educated decisions about their health and that of their loved ones.


Fact Sheets

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There's an NIH for that...and more

MedlinePlus, a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), is always is a good starting point for finding trustworthy health information. Search by demographic group: Older Adults to find various health and wellness topics relevant to seniors such as Health Screenings for Men Over Age 65.

The primary NIH organization for research on Older Adults is the National Institute on Aging (NIA). They publish easy-to-read information health topics online and in print. 

Medicare.gov is the official U.S. Government site for Medicare. You can find a Glossary that explains terms in the Medicare program and forms, help, and resources. Order the official government booklet, Medicare & You, 2019, for a summary of Medicare benefits, coverage options, rights and protections, and answers to the most frequently asked questions about Medicare.

Library Programming for Healthy Aging

Short on time? See below for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine recommended program ideas and resources for exercise, nutrition, and prevention for healthy aging. You may also explore ALA's evidence-based Programming Librarian and Keys to Engaging Older Adults @ Your Library for more health and wellness ideas.

Exercise

Go4Life NIA Exercise and Physical Activity Book cover imageLet's Move In Libraries is a Go4Life partnership between the National Institute on Aging and public libraries. Use the new Go4Life Month Toolkit this September to incorporate walking, yoga, or gardening into your library programming. Also use the DIY Go4Life Speakers Toolkit, complete with a PowerPoint Presentation and User Guide, to promote exercise and physical activities. Then order free Go4Life posters and the NIA Exercise and Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide to complement your program.

MyPlate graphic image

Nutrition

The USDA ChooseMyPlate.gov illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet. Share 10 Tips: Choosing Healthy Meals As You Get Older to promote nutrition for healthy aging. Then use the NNLM All of Us National Health Observances March - Nutrition Month toolkit to incorporate programming ideas such as a healthy recipe exchange or a speaker program for eating well if you are diabetic.

Prevention

Logo for the AHRQ Question Builder App

Healthy aging involves good nutrition and regular exercise for energy, balance, and strength. It also includes regular wellness checks. Know what preventive services are available through Medicare with Your Guide to Medicare Preventive Services and host an AHIP Certified health insurance speaker during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Then help your patrons prepare for their next appointment: order NIA free Talking with Your Doctor booklets or share the AHRQ Question Builder: Be Prepared for Your Next Health Appointment. There's even an app. Download the AHRQ Question Builder from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

As we get older, our immune systems tend to weaken, putting us at higher risk for certain diseases. This is why, in addition to seasonal flu (influenza) vaccine and Td or Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), discuss with one's health provider:

  • Shingles vaccine, which protects against shingles and the complications from the disease (recommended for healthy adults 50 years and older)
  • Pneumococcal vaccines, which protect against pneumococcal disease, including infections in the lungs and bloodstream (recommended for all adults over 65 years old, and for adults younger than 65 years who have certain chronic health conditions)

Share the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule for ages 19 years or older, the United States, 2019 or the CDC Vaccines Schedules app available for download on iOS and Android devices.

AGE WISE

Engage your community with AgeWise, a PBS series. Episodes such as Aging in Place can help inform people how to stay safe longer in their homes and communities. Also, knowing how to prepare for an emergency as an older adult, or at any age, is important for living longer and better.


Library Skills Training

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) provides in-person and online instruction. Webinars often are recorded for future viewing. Check the NNLM Training page for a complete list of programs and schedules.