AgriLife Extension Offers Health Literacy Program for Older Adults
Ability to understand health information equals better health outcomes.
Every Wednesday of February 2021, a team of Bosque, Leon, and Johnson County Extension Agents will be presenting the “Health Literacy for Older Adults” program. It will be open to the surrounding region and will be hosted online via the Zoom platform at 10:30am each week. The program includes four sessions, which cover topics such as making healthy lifestyle choices, understanding Medicare benefits, communicating well with your doctor, managing medications, and finding reliable information on the internet. Adults over age 65, family members and caregivers of older adults, and health care professionals are encouraged to attend.
The ability to obtain, understand, and act upon health information (health literacy) is key to making the right health decisions. Evidence shows that people with higher health literacy are more likely to seek preventive care, follow treatment plans, and experience decreased rates of hospitalization and emergency services, along with shorter hospital stays.
There is now an emphasis on patient-clinician collaboration and shared responsibility, said Andy Crocker, Senior Extension Program Specialist. “An older adult’s health literacy can vary depending on changes in one’s medical issues, provider, or system providing the care,” said Crocker. “No matter the context, we all want to feel confident about our decisions and understand that we’re getting cost-effective, safe, high quality health care,” he said.
Paula Butler, AgriLife Extension Regional Program Leader, says that the benefits of health literacy in older adults extends beyond their own improved health care decisions and improved health status. “Ultimately, health literacy should result in cost savings to the health care system and improved patient-provider satisfaction,” Butler explained. “We want to help empower older adults to take an active role in their health care, which will not only benefit them personally, but the larger community too.”
For more information about the Health Literacy series or to sign up, contact County Extension Agent Chris Coon at 254-435-2331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.