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Center for Research on Health and Aging

The Center for Research on Health and Aging tests and builds evidence about how older adults can prevent disability and maintain health and examines how the health care system can address the health needs of older adults.

By 2030, one in every five Americans will be 65 or older, an age at which chronic health conditions are common. Learning how to prevent disability and improve the health of older adults will improve their quality of life and reduce U.S. health care costs.

The Center for Research on Health and Aging is part of the Institute for Health Research and Policy housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The center achieves its research goals in partnership with researchers throughout the United States and with the counsel and support of health care professionals and agencies that serve older adults, such as the Chicago Department of Senior Services. View our list of partners.

Susan Hughes, professor of community health sciences, and Jun Ma, professor of health policy and administration, codirect the center.

Researchers in this center are working to improve the health of older adults through these goals:

  • Disseminate Fit and Strong!, an evidence-based, award-winning exercise program developed and tested for persons with osteoarthritis, nationally.
  • Develop and test a new version of Fit and Strong! to address diet and weight.
  • Examine how public policy and programs affect the ability of older adults to maintain their independence.
  • Identify ways to increase physical activity, especially walking, among sedentary older adults.
  • Learn whether home care aides can help the older adults in their care increase mobility.

The Center also supports the development of innovative research that fosters the health of older adults by offering pilot grants through the Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation, funded by the National Institute on Aging.