Health & Wellbeing
Countywide Health Issues
Why it’s important:
 Diabetes hospitalizations are high across St. Louis County for 65+ adults.
 Mental health hospitalization rates are generally higher for 65+ adults in North County and
West County than in South County.
 West County 65+ adults fare worse for most indicators measuring substance abuse.
 There are significant disparities in the years of expected life span from birth in St. Louis
County, which correlate with education, income, and race. The highest years of life span are
predominately found in the affluent central-west core of St. Louis County and the lowest years
of expected life span are in areas with lower incomes, concentrations of poverty and minority
populations.
Goal 1: Address the countywide health issues of mental health and diabetes through
accessible, age-sensitive services, prevention, and education.
Actions/Recommendations:
Health & Wellbeing
Concentration of Health Disparities
Why it’s important:
 There are clear health disparities in St. Louis County. Older adults living in North County fare
worse for indicators related to primary care, cardiovascular health, respiratory health, and
diabetes.
 There are significant disparities in the years of expected life span from birth in St. Louis
County, which correlate with education, income, and race. The highest years of life span are
predominately found in the affluent central-west core of St. Louis County and the lowest years
of expected life span are in areas with lower incomes, concentrations of poverty and minority
populations.
Goal 2: Increase access to primary care and improve respiratory and cardiovascular health
outcomes among older adults with health disparities.
Actions/Recommendations:
Health & Wellbeing
Living Independently
Why it’s important:
 Of St. Louis County’s 90 municipalities, there are 25 with full service recreation centers that
provide a variety of fitness and recreational activities, many targeted to older adults. Full
service recreation facilities tend to have the most programming options; conversely, cities
lacking such facilities appear to have less varied options unless they partner with others.
 The majority of older adult services offered by municipalities are through departments of parks
and recreation. Additional opportunities to collaborate and partner with other departments and
organizations with complementary services may help expand the range of service options for
older adults.
 Most municipalities in St. Louis County are not large enough to have full-time professional
social workers or gerontologists; shared staffing among cities is a suggested model for
consideration.
 Nearly half of adults age 65+ with a disability indicate they have some physical, mental or
emotional condition that makes living independently difficult, suggesting the need for homecare
services, caregiver support, and access to residential care and living options.
Goal 3: Increase the level of community-based services offered by municipal and local public
service providers to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults
Actions/Recommendations:
 Convene a symposium for municipal officials and other local public service providers on the
important role professional gerontologists or social workers have in addressing older adults’
needs.
 Increase the availability of professional gerontologists or social workers offered by
municipalities by encouraging shared staffing of professionals to expand consultation,
programming, and case management services for older adults.
 Train staff in local Parks Departments to meet special needs of older adults.
 Provide a better link between County Older Resident Program (CORP) service managers and
Public Health Nurses.
 Examine the current configuration of CORP service areas and redefine as needed.
 Provide a core set of services through comprehensive coordination within all CORP service
areas.
 Implement and sustain the Functional Needs Registry.
Goal 4: Enable older adults to remain in their homes for as long as possible by creating and
expanding high quality home and community-based services for physical, mental and social
wellbeing.
Sub-Goal 4.1: Expand and promote programs that deliver homemaker, personal care,
“friendly visits,” and meal services to older adults.
Sub-Goal 4.2: Increase awareness and availability of programs that provide accessible
and affordable training and support to formal and informal caregivers.
Sub-Goal 4.3: Encourage the adoption of geriatric assessments as to ensure older
adults are able to safely remain in their homes.
Actions/Recommendations:
Health & Wellbeing
Physical Fitness
Why it’s important:
 Of St. Louis County’s 90 municipalities, there are 25 with full service recreation centers that
provide a variety of fitness and recreational activities, many targeted to older adults. Full
service recreation facilities tend to have the most programming options; conversely, cities
lacking such facilities appear to have less varied options unless they partner with others.
 The majority of older adult services offered by municipalities are through departments of parks
and recreation. Additional opportunities to collaborate and partner with other departments and
organizations with complementary services may help expand the range of service options for
older adults.
Goal 5: Increase collaboration, coordination, and promotion of publicly provided recreational
opportunities for older adults.
Actions/Recommendations:
 Research models for shared municipal recreational facilities and programs, and promote
partnerships among municipalities to expand recreational and fitness opportunities for older
adults.

Train staff in local Parks Departments to meet special needs of older adults.
Health & Wellbeing
Economic Security
Why it’s important:
 Nearly half of seniors live alone and the vast majority of them are women, which may suggest
the need for different approaches to outreach, services, and living options.
 Nearly half of single senior women face economic insecurity
 Senior African American households are nearly twice as likely to face economic insecurity
 More than half of senior renters face economic insecurity
Goal 6: Improve the economic security of older adults, especially women living alone, renters,
and African American households, by targeting support programs and services.
Actions/Recommendations:
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Health & Wellbeing Concentration of Health