Healthy Aging

There are early signs that this upcoming flu season in the U.S. could be severe, according to recent CDC data. Flu hospitalizations are on the rise, and they are higher than usual at this time in the season. Flu is one of several respiratory illnesses circulating, including RSV and COVID-19.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine. For assistance scheduling a flu and/or COVID-19 vaccine near you, call our CARES Team at 602-506-6767 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.) or make an appointment online at

The good news: Americans are living longer and living more active lifestyles. Here are some of the most important things you can do to stay healthy, active and independent through the years. No matter how old you are, it is never too late to begin taking care of yourself.

The CDC’s 6 Tips for Healthy Aging

happy grandparents with two grand children

  1. Healthcare
  2. Lifestyle
  3. Safety

See a Healthcare Provider Regularly

Visiting your health care provider regularly helps catch problems early, making them easier to treat. You can also find out about screening tests and immunizations you might need. You and your health care provider will decide together how often you should be seen.

Get Insurance Coverage

Having health insurance is essential. The Arizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free health-benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or caregivers. SHIP is an independent program funded by federal agencies and is not affiliated with the insurance industry. Call 602-542-4446 or statewide 1-800-432-4040. 

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) offers health insurance for individuals 65 and older. For those who qualify, there are no monthly premiums. Call 602-417-7200 or statewide 1-800-331-5090.

Take Care of Your Teeth

Over the past 50 years, there has been an improvement in the nation’s oral health. Most middle-aged and older adults can expect to keep their natural teeth over their lifetime. Tooth loss is not a natural part of aging, it is caused by untreated mouth and gum disease. Taking prescription medications can cause dry mouth, which can also increase your risk of tooth decay. What else can you do to maintain good oral health? Check out these tips.

Regular check-ups allow your dentist to catch problems early. Stick to the schedule of visits your dentist recommends for you. 

Mental Health Challenges

About 43 million people in the United States — around 14 percent of the population — are 65 or older, and that number is projected to increase 20 percent by 2030, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Read more about Mental Health Challenges for Aging Americans by Georgetown University’s School of Nursing. 

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Alzheimer’s and Dementia Related Diseases

What is Dementia?

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.

What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s is a fatal brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. It is the most common form of dementia.

Learn about Alzheimer’s in Arizona 

Download Alzheimer’s Statistics in Arizona: See statistics for number of cases, deaths and costs associated with Alzheimer’s. 

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you or a loved one have concerns about memory loss or other symptoms of Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, it is important to be evaluated by a physician.

There are medications available to help ease symptoms, but currently there is no cure.

 More Information:

Caregivers for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Face Special Challenges
Though the care provided by family members of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is somewhat similar to the help provided by caregivers of people with other conditions, dementia caregivers tend to provide more extensive assistance. Family caregivers of people with dementia are more likely to assist with more activities of daily living. This responsibility can take an emotional, physical, and financial toll, but knowledge of available resources can help relieve the stress. Research shows that caregivers who access support activities regularly are healthier and better able to provide care.

Life Care Planning (Advance Directives) is about knowing what is most important to you and communicating how that affects your wishes for future health care. It is a consistent process for evaluating a person and disability in order to establish all of the needs dictated by the onset of that disability.

Life Care Planning is an important task for all of us, whether young or old, healthy or facing challenges. Through increased awareness and access to information, Arizonans of all ages can make their choices known about who will manage their medical affairs in the event of an emergency.

The Attorney General of Arizona offers the Life Care Planning forms, at no cost to you.

Additional Resources

  • We created and its Spanish partner site to give Maricopa County residents an easy way to find free and almost free health and social services for themselves. There is a section especially designed for Senior needs. The website is easy to use and available where there is internet access, including smartphones.
    FindHelpPhoenix is divided into multiple categories of services. Users can look for medical services, legal help, and affordable housing, and many other services. The approximate 1,500 resources are, checked for accuracy, and the information for each service is just what you need: location, a description of the service, cost, and a phone number/website link to make contact.
  • The Senior HELP LINE through the Area Agency on Aging, Region One, provides information, referral and assistance to older adults and caregivers. Trained social workers can assist in answering questions about a variety of services, including transportation, housing, long-term care, home-delivered meals, home care and other services. Assistance is available in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. 602-264-HELP (4357) or 888-264-2258. A comprehensive Maricopa County Elder Resource Guide is also available online or by calling 602-264-4357.
  • The Arizona Department of Health Services Health Aging division also has many valuable resources.