Limited-income seniors report multiple chronic diseases in quality-of-life study
Mary L. Blackburn, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE)
California Agriculture 64(4):195-200. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v064n04p195.
The silver century is now! Seniors 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the world's population, and in the United States the 85 and over age group is increasing at the highest rate. This study documents the chronic diseases reported by a diverse group (n = 377) of urban, limited-income seniors who attended UC Cooperative Extension Quality of Life education forums. The data suggests that their greatest educational need is learning how to integrate multiple concepts and complex research and technology into their personal lives. The data correlated disease conditions, diet and physical activity with age and ethnicity to show the magnitude of multiple diseases among them, identify perceived educational needs, and describe seniors’ expectations and preferred education and training delivery methods.
M.L. Blackburn is Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Alameda County.
The author thanks Charles Brown, Professional Engineer and Data Analyst, UCCE Alameda County; Michele Brown, Nelly Camacho, Lan Nguyen and Evely Tilson, Nutrition Educators, UCCE Alameda County, for their community outreach; and Doris H. Calloway, Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, UC Berkeley, and Rick Barth, Professor, Graduate School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley, for reviewing the assessment tool. We acknowledge the center directors and program coordinators in the 22 sites for assisting seniors with the self-assessments and delivering them to the UCCE Advisor, the hundreds of participants who volunteered to provide data for the assessments, as well the much larger group of seniors who participated in the focus groups.