Citiparks dissemination of the “10 Keys”™ to Healthy Aging Program

Did you know that a healthy lifestyle offers the best chance for a longer and happier life? 

Imagine having a simple, step-by-step action plan that will help you live a healthier life and reduce the risk factors that lead to many chronic diseases.

That’s what you’ll find in the 10 Keys™ to Healthy Aging program, developed by Center for Aging and Population Health at the University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health.

“This program encourages seniors to partner with their doctors and play a more proactive role in their health,” explains Steven M. Albert, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at Pitt. “We also hope they’ll become community health ambassadors, promoting the 10 Keys to Healthy Aging among their family members and friends.”

You can get started today by following these 10 Keys to Healthy Aging:

  1. Prevent bone loss and muscle weakness. A bone density test can help detect osteoporosis. Keep your bones and muscles strong by doing weight-bearing and strength-building activities. Ask your doctor about your calcium and vitamin D intake. And, avoid behaviors that put you at risk for falls.
  2. Lower your LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”). LDL, or low-density lipoproteins, are molecules that carry fats around the body. A high LDL level increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. LDL can be lowered through diet, exercise and medication.
  3. Lower your blood pressure. The ideal systolic pressure for adults is below 120. Controlling your blood pressure through medication and lifestyle changes reduces your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  4. Regulate your blood glucose (sugar). Your fasting blood glucose should be less than 100. If your levels are higher, you’re at risk for pre-diabetes and diabetes — and that puts you at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nervous system disorders, and even dental disease.
  5. Be physically active at least 2.5 hours a week. No matter how old you are when you start, physical activity like walking can improve your overall health and wellbeing — even prevent some health problems.
  6. Stop smoking. Better breathing, less coughing, and increased energy are just some of the health benefits to quitting. And quitting can lower your risk for many serious health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
  7. Maintain social contact. Staying connected to friends, family and community can help prevent mental decline and isolation, and improve self-esteem.
  8. Get recommended cancer screenings. Discuss your personal risk factors with your doctor. Recommended cancer screenings include skin, colon, and rectum for everyone; breast, uterus, and cervix for women; and prostate for men.
  9. Seek help for depression. Depression is not a normal part of aging. If you feel sad most of the time, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
  10. Get immunized regularly. Besides a yearly flu shot, talk to your doctor about which immunizations you need. Older adults are especially at risk for diphtheria, shingles, pertussis (whooping cough), flu, pneumonia, and tetanus.

Click here for the complete 10 keys resource guide



“10 Keys”to Healthy Aging Program in the UPMC Senior Community Newsletter

To help kick off Senior Center Month, CitiParks, UPMC for Life, and the CDC Prevention Research Center (PRC) at the University of Pittsburgh will join together to offer the 10 Keys to Healthy Aging program  to seniors in Allegheny County.

The 10 KeysTM is an evidence-based approach for reducing risk factors for chronic disease.  Rather than simply teaching prevention, the 10 KeysTM is designed to help older people set goals and develop strategies to stay healthy.

Key features of the CitiParks 10 KeysTM effort:10 key table tall (2)

  • Presentation of each Key at a CitiParks senior center (Markethouse), distributed to all sites through Google video technology.  Two nurses, Kathy Williams and Barbara Brown, delivered the program.  The 10 KeysTM will be delivered in 10 sessions or in a shorter format.  Sessions will be recorded, archived, and available for Internet access.  Seniors attending the program will receive gift cards and 10 Keys Guides, made available through UPMC for Life.  CitiParks will arrange for space, recording, video technology, and publicity,
  •  CitiParks staff and senior center volunteers at sites will be offered the opportunity to complete the 10 KeysTM at the Pitt PRC website . They can serve as on-site supports for the program.  Sites will track attendance.
  • The program will be connected to community events sponsored by senior centers, such as walking clubs, sports events, healthy cooking demonstrations, smoking cessation programs, etc.
  • The Pitt PRC will evaluate the program in two ways: (i) Track lower extremity strength through measures of walking speed and balance conducted at sites after each Key; and (ii) 6-month telephone post-program surveys of health behaviors.  Pitt staff will work with sites for completing assessments of balance and walking speed.  Pitt staff will conduct the telephone interviews.
  • We will aim to reach half the daily attendees at CitiParks sites, or some 350-420 seniors.


Mayor Luke Ravenstahl issued a proclamation to the City of Pittsburgh recognizing September as National Senior Center Month

On August 27, 2013,  the Mayor of Pittsburgh presented CAPH-PRC Co-Director Dr. Steven Albert with a Mayoral Proclamation declaring September 2013 as National Senior Center Month. The proclamation states, “Whereas, Citiparks Centers have pioneered programs providing health awareness with the Gateway Health System, and Citiparks continues this work, launching “The 10 Keys to Healthy Aging” in fall 2013 as a two-year project with Pitt Public Health.” As proprietor of the “10 Keys”TM program, the CAPH-PRC is proud to work with our community leaders in launching the “10 Keys”TM into our community.




Last Updated Sep 23, 2016