Livable communities are ones that promote the health and well-being of all Connecticut residents, including older adults. And it’s about more than just access to high quality, affordable health care—it’s about creating the conditions in which people can be healthy.
- With a primary focus on wellness and prevention, local public health efforts work to prevent disease, injury and disability, and promote conditions that support good health. In other words, public health efforts ideally prevent the need for health care interventions to begin with.
- At least half of all health outcomes may be driven by community conditions—such as access to quality, affordable housing in walkable neighborhoods, broad transportation options, and community safety. Community conditions can impact physical activity levels, food access, air quality, social cohesion, and economic opportunities. All have profound implications for health.
- Planning for potential disasters benefits everyone but is particularly critical to people with access or functional needs, who may be challenged during or after an emergency.
- Creating healthier communities requires strategic collaborations across a broad range of sectors.
Recommendations for Communities
_____ Support a robust local public health system to:
- Promote in-home programs that improve health outcomes;
- Provide wellness programs and preventive health services, such as screenings and immunizations;
- Provide health education on various health topics;
- Ensure food and environmental safety; and
- Conduct disease surveillance, report analysis, case investigation and coordination to reduce disease transmission
_____ Support local health departments, senior centers and other partners in their efforts to prevent falls through various strategies, including home safety assessments, fall prevention seminars and exercise classes, medication safety reviews and training for service providers.
_____ Formalize partnerships between health care, public health and social services leaders and professionals to ensure an integrated system that comprehensively meets the needs of older adults, which can include addressing social isolation, loss and mental health issues.
_____ Formalize partnerships with town planners to maximize opportunities for Smart Growth to promote more active lifestyles.
_____ Collaborate with local, state and regional transit leadership to create a balanced transportation system that connects residents with quality health care services.
_____ Ensure capacity and capability to plan for, respond to and recover from public health emergencies for all community residents, including those with access and functional needs.
_____ Conduct health impact assessments to determine the potential health implications of projects, policies and community design on residents.
_____ Prioritize access to healthy and affordable foods and safe opportunities for physical activity for all residents.
- Connecticut State Health Assessment and Improvement Plan
- Healthy Connecticut 2020 Performance Dashboard
- Healthy Planning Guide
- A Sustainability Planning Guide for Healthy Communities
- Housing and Health: New Opportunities for Dialogue and Action
- Understanding the Role of Community Development Finance in Improving Access to Healthy Food: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners
- Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2014 Benchmarking Report
- National Prevention Strategy: America’s Plan for Better Health and Wellness
- Healthy People 2020 Topic Area, Older Adults
- The HIA [Health Impact Assessment] Process