DALLAS, May 26, 2021 — The population of older adults in the U.S. is growing, and the incidence and prevalence of most cardiovascular diseases increase with age, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology, and the American Geriatrics Society. The statement shines a light on the stark fact that, in addition to being the leading cause of death in adults over 75, cardiovascular disease is also a major cause of chronic disability, loss of independence and impaired quality of life among older people. In an effort to help independent and assisted living facilities move toward continuously improved health and quality of life for their residents, and to help consumers make better informed choices about facilities, the American Heart Association today launched the Healthy Senior Living certification program.
The certification focuses on creating environments where getting and staying healthy is top of mind. Facilities will be evaluated on how they educate residents and provide opportunities to work toward improved health in these categories: smoking status, physical activity, healthy diet and weight, depression and anxiety, sleep, stress management, alcohol consumption and immunizations.
The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary organization devoted to longer, healthier lives, is offering the Healthy Senior Living certification as an assurance that the facility has been vetted and recognized by the American Heart Association based on professional evaluation criteria designed by cardiac and geriatric experts.
“The Healthy Senior Living program seeks to work with independent and assisted living facilities to help guide them towards improved health and quality of life for their residents by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to develop a clearly-defined wellness program,” said Cory W. Woods, DNP, MHA, MSN, RN, assistant chief clinical officer and senior vice president of population health for Rockport Healthcare Services and incoming volunteer chair of the Quality Certification Business Management Committee at the American Heart Association. “Announcing the launch of this exciting and much needed new certification today, on National Senior Health and Fitness Day, amplifies the mission of the American Heart Association to help every person have the opportunity for a full, healthy life.”
Facilities meeting criteria for certification will receive opportunities to:
- Join the national collaborating network of American Heart Association Healthy Senior Living Center facilities
- Access live and online educational activities from the American Heart Association
- Amplify their certification
- Healthy Senior Living Certification program
- American Heart Association Quality Improvement programs
- Follow AHA/ASA news on Twitter @HeartNews
About American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
American Heart Association
For Media Inquiries and AHA/ASA Expert Perspective: 214-706-1173
Pamela Kreigh: 214-706-1434 | Pamela.Kreigh@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
 Rich MW, Chyun DA, Skolnick AH, et al. Knowledge gaps in cardiovascular care of the older adult population: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, and American Geriatrics Society. Circulation. 2016;133(21):2103-2122.