Our Work in Action

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.
– Joel A. Barker

Population Aging Preparedness: Research and Strategy

CommonHealth ACTION: 03/2005


CommonHealth ACTION conducted a national study entitled, Growing Older in America: How Prepared Are You? Four-hundred-and-four adults from over 37 states participated in an on-line national survey inquiring about their self-reported preparedness for growing older. Preparedness factors included anticipated personal needs, reliance on social security, care giving, and overall confidence in the state of America’s preparedness for the increasing age of the public. The majority of respondents were 41-64 years of age. Most anticipate relying on family and friends for safety net, but this assumes caregivers stay well. Additional findings and public policy implications will be presented at the third national Aging by Design conference, Boston, MA, October 2006.


CommonHealth ACTION and its board of directors recognize that the increasing population of older Americans necessitates thoughtful planning and action on the part of governmental agencies, non-profits, academia, communities, families, and individuals. We recently collected the following information as means to assess current activities and needs in the aging arena. This research effort:

  • Identified major aging initiatives funded by philanthropy and the federal government.
  • Explored information from the White House Conference on Aging and Healthy People 2010.
  • Identified pending policy initiatives on the federal level that have implications for activities within the field of aging preparedness.
  • Identified innovations in aging to inform CHA's future work.
  • Identified top five corporate entities that support work in aging, particularly those that have a community-based focus.
  • Searched for existing publications, available online, that specifically mention aging preparedness.
  • Searched for "Tenants of healthy aging".
  • Examined existing definitions of "healthy aging".
  • Identified information specific to aging in place initiatives and collective/shared wealth models that have achieved some level of documented success.