10 Keys to Healthy Aging

10 Keys to Healthy Aging

“10 Keys” to Healthy Aging Overview

The “10 Keys”™ to Healthy Aging was developed by Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh to help lower aging risk factors. The “10 Keys” is a broad health behavior-change program that addresses the most common preventable health risks for older people. Health improvements are possible at any age and you can get started today by following these 10 Keys to Healthy Aging:

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1)  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.

2)  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.

3)  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.

4) 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.

5)  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.

6)  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.

7)  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.

8)  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.

9)  Maintain social contact. Staying connected to friends, family and community can help prevent mental decline and isolation, and improve self-esteem.

10)  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 Keys” Online Educational Program

A Workbook was developed to assist users in learning about the “10 Keys” to Healthy Aging. The user will learn to identify risk factors and begin “Action Steps” for change. An Instructor Manual is also provided on this website to assist users planning to promote the “10 Keys” to Healthy Aging Program in their community or work.


“10 Keys” Programs

The “10 Keys” to Healthy Aging has been disseminated in Allegheny County in areas with high rates of chronic disease. Training of public health professionals and community partners occurred, leveraging the experiences of working with our CAPH-Prevention Research Center as part of existing research and training programs.


Pennsylvania Department of Aging, APPRISE Program, offering the “10 Keys” ™ to Healthy Aging

APPRISE is a free health insurance counseling program designed to help older Pennsylvanians with Medicare. Counselors are specially trained staff and volunteers who can answer  questions about Medicare and provide objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Insurance.

APPRISE Counselors help members to understand Medicare benefits by explaining what services are covered under Medicare Parts A and B and the Medicare Summary Notice; understand Medicare Prescription Drug  (Part D) benefits; make informed choices about Medicare coverage options, Medigap policies and Medicare Advantage Plans; understand Medicare eligibility and enrollment;  understand financial assistance programs that may be available to help pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-pays, as well as prescription drug needs (Extra Help and Medicare Savings Program); understand and assist with the Medicare appeal process; understand benefits under Long Term Care policies; and by making presentations on Medicare to groups or organizations.

The “10 Keys”™ to Healthy Aging program is being offered by the APPRISE Program and each PA county has the opportunity to provide this program.  As of March 2018, there have been 50 programs across 22 counties.


Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP) + “10 Keys” ™ to Healthy Aging

The CAPH-Prevention Research Center partnered with the Arthritis Foundation Great Lakes Region to create, implement, and evaluate a cluster randomized trial of programs in community sites in and around Allegheny County.  Sites were randomized to either the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP) or to the enhanced AFEP which included the “10 Keys” ™ to Healthy Aging.  The aims were 1) to determine if levels of mobility and risk factors for mobility disability in older adults (age 50 and over) are better in those participating in the combined AFEP + “10 Keys” ™ compared to those participating in the AFEP alone.  2) To determine if use of preventive services, as outlined by the “10 Keys” ™ is better in those participating in the combined AFEP + “10 Keys” ™ compared to those participating in the AFEP alone.  3) To examine the association between site characteristics and participant recruitment, retention and outcomes, and 4) To examine scalability (sustainability) of the AFEP + “10 Keys”™ beyond the Pittsburgh region (e.g. diffusion of innovation).

Program Sites:

AHEPA (Washington Co.)
Allen Place Community Services, Inc. (Ross/Westview area)
Aries Athletic Club, Ellsworth Commons, Ellsworth, PA (Washington Co.)
Baierl Family YMCA (Sewickley Heights)
Beechview Manor, Beechville, PA
Bellefield Dwellings
Bethel Park Gracious Living
Bethel Park Library
Brentwood LIFESPAN
Carnegie Library of Homestead (Munhall, PA)
Center for Fitness and Health (Rostraver Health Center) (Fayette County)
Century III Mall Satellite Center
Club One
Club Sport and Health
Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon
East Liberty Presbyterian Church
Eastern Area Adult Services, Turtle Creek
Edgewood Club/Carnegie Library
Fairmont Apartments
Germaine Harbor
Greenfield Senior Center
Harriet Tubman Terrace
Homestead Apartments
JCC South Hills
JCC Squirrel Hillandrea2
Lawrenceville Community Center
Leland Resource Center
Longwood at Oakmont
Lutheran Senior Services Bellevue
Marshall Township Municipal Building
McKeesport YMCA
Mount Ararat Community Activity Center
New Pennley Place
North Boroughs YMCA (Church of Epiphany)
Penn Hills YMCA
Pine Run United Methodist Church
Riverview Manor
Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church
Sewickley Public Library
Shenango Valley Senior Community Center (Mercer Co.)
Sheraden Senior Center
Silver Lake Commons
South Hills Retirement Residence
St Athanasius Parish
St John & Paul Church
St John Neumann
The Towers, HUD Housing, McKeesport, PA
Turtle Creek Senior Center
Union Baptist Church, Swissvale, PA
Union Project
United Methodist Church McKeesport
UPMC McKeesport Hospital
Vintage Senior Center
West End Senior Center
Westlake Apartments
Woodcrest Retirement Residence

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.”

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

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


University of Pittsburgh
Center for Aging and Population Health
130 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213