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Coalition Formed to Address Health Needs of Aging Women

More than 20 organizations, brought together by The National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health, have formed BOlder Women’s Health Coalition to address the specific health needs of aging women.

Although the number of women aged 65 and older tripled between 2005 and 2015 and will double again by 2030, there is no single group that focuses on the health and well-being of these women, according to the coalition.

“This generation of aging women deserves nothing less than our most innovative vision and actions to address their healthcare needs, advance their quality of life, and enable their ongoing contributions to a better society as they grow older,” said Heather L. Maurer, CEO of NPWH, the organizing member of the coalition. “No one organization or network is yet devoted to identifying and addressing the comprehensive medical, economic, and social challenges facing older women.

“The BOlder Women’s Health Coalition is dedicated to serving aging women and the clinicians and advocates who care for them.”

Policy, education, research

The coalition’s focus will go beyond healthcare to concentrate on four pillars:

  • Policy: Advocating for federal legislative and regulatory policies, based on current science, that benefit older women
  • Clinical Education: Strengthening the knowledge of health care providers on prevention, diagnostics, and holistic treatments of older women
  • Public Education: Developing greater cultural awareness of older women’s physical and mental health needs and undermining stigma and stereotypes
  • Research: Promoting new medical research and approaches to research that will improve older women’s health and wellness

The website, Bolderwomenshealth.org, has resources for each of those categories that include articles, toolkits, podcasts and slide presentations.

A trailblazing generation

Aging female baby boomers represent a unique cohort of women, both in their past accomplishments and their expectations of the future.

“This generation of women approaches aging differently than their mothers and grandmothers did. At every stage of life, these trailblazers disrupted societal expectations around education, marriage, childbearing and employment,” it notes. “Many female baby boomers envision healthy aging in a way that differs from that of previous generations. They see themselves as independent, self-sufficient, and resilient, with an expectation of continuing to have fulfilling lives well into old age.

“By contrast, other boomers may face obstacles to healthy aging — specifically, health in- equities and health disparities, some of which are much more common for women than for men.”

To learn more about the BOlder Women’s Health Coalition, visit their website here.