Learning from Practice: Promoting wellbeing and health equity among older adults
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As life expectancy and the proportion of older adults in the population are increasing, so too is the need for attention on the root causes of wellbeing and health inequities experienced by older people across Canada.
The National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH), Health Promotion Canada (HPC), and the editors of Promoting the Health of Older Adults: The Canadian Experience have collaborated on several initiatives to bring attention to this area. A 5-part webinar series based on the book and framed around the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion highlighted policy and practice areas to support health equity among older adults. An additional workshop validated and enriched themes heard in the 5 webinars, further exploring their application to practice.
The purpose of this document is to describe the key equity themes that emerged during these events and explore their application to promote wellbeing and health equity among older adults.
Key Equity Themes for older adults
Key equity themes for older adults that emerged included:
- Culture & diverse experiences
- Social exclusion
- Digital health literacy
- Community engagement
Opportunities for action to address inequities
Opportunities for action to address inequities included top-down and bottom-up strategies, life course and intergenerational approaches, key partnerships, and systems change. Considerations for public health and health promotion action and a list of resources to support health promotion among older adults are included.
Use this resource to:
- explore the intersection of the social determinants of health with population health outcomes among older adults in Canada;
- identify approaches, policy options, partnerships, and points of influence to promote the health of older adults;
- develop strategies to support active and meaningful engagement of older adults in public health initiatives including policy;
- highlight evidence to partners and decision-makers on the need to take an equity-informed approach to promote older adult health and shift from an ‘illness’ to a ‘wellness’ focus in population health initiatives.
Understanding the intersections of social and structural determinants of healthy ageing aligns with other NCCDH work on health equity for older adults. The 2021-22 webinar series Promoting Health for Older Adults explores opportunities to influence health outcomes among older adults framed around the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion.
National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health. (2023). Learning from Practice: Promoting wellbeing and health equity among older adults. Antigonish, NS: NCCDH, St. Francis Xavier University.