Health Behavior Change for the Elderly

Health Behavior Change for the Elderly

Similar to other population groups, the elderly have special considerations that should be taken into account when planning health behavior programs. Consider, for instance, the physical challenges faced by elderly people, such as changes in hearing and vision or mobility issues. They also may need more time to process information, particularly with material they have not previously experienced. The Learning Resources this week present many such challenges that you may need to consider when working in a health behavior capacity with older adults.

To prepare for this Discussion, read the following case study in light of this week’s readings on health behavior change as it pertains to the elderly. Consider potential issues related to this population group that might arise when implementing this program and how you might address them.

Your local community center would like to implement a training program for seniors (inexperienced with computers) in which they would learn to use computers for accessing health and medical information. They attempted to start such a program, but no one signed up for it. They have asked you, as a health psychology professional knowledgeable about the elderly, to help them develop and market a program that will appeal to the community’s seniors. Consider the issues within this age group that might arise when implementing this program.

Post by Day 4 a description of two challenges that might arise in implementing this program and explain why each is a challenge with this population group. Then explain two possible ways the community center might address each challenge. Be specific and support your response with references to the Learning Resources.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references from the Learning Resources.

Required Resources


  • Article: Fogelholm, M., Valve, R., Absetz, P., Heinonen, H., Uutela, A., Patja, K., … Talja, M. (2006). Rural–urban differences in health and health behaviour: A baseline description of a community health-promotion programme for the elderly. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 34(6), 632–640.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: Green, C. S., & Bavelier, D. (2008). Exercising your brain: A review of human brain plasticity and training-induced learning. Psychology and Aging, 23(4), 692–701.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.
  • Article: Huang, L.-H., Chen, S.-W., Yu, Y.-P., Chen, P.-R., & Lin, Y.-C. (2002). The effectiveness of health promotion education programs for community elderly. Journal of Nursing Research, 10(4), 261–270.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: Reed, A. E., Mikels, J. A., & Simon, K. I. (2008). Older adults prefer less choice than younger adults. Psychology and Aging, 23(3), 671-675.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.
  • Book Excerpt: Hartley, J. (1999). What does it say? Text design, medical information, and older readers Click for more options . In D. C. Park, R. W. Morrell, & K. Shifren (Eds.), Processing of medical information in aging patients: Cognitive and human factors perspectives (pp. 233–247). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    © 1999 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Group, LLC., via the Copyright Clearance Center.
  • Book Excerpt: Aguilera, C., Dailey, W. H., Perez, M. A. (2008). Aging and health education: Partners for learning. Click for more options In M. A. Pérez & R. R. Luquis (Eds.), Cultural competence in health education and health promotion(pp. 201–2 12). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

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