Healthy lifestyle programs


Most know the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) for the assistance we can provide with longterm care home and community-based services, programs and resources that are available in our 10-county district. Did you know that we also provide Healthy Lifestyle Programs? These evidence-based programs help individuals learn to take control of their lives and manage health conditions.

A Matter of Balance is an educational program for individuals age 60 and over that teaches practical strategies to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to view falls as controllable, set realistic goals, change their environment to reduce risk factors, and increase strength and balance through exercise.

The Chronic Disease Self‐Management Program and Diabetes Self‐Management Program helps adults age 60 and over gain confidence in their ability to manage symptoms and understand how their health problems affect their lives. Individuals who could benefit from the program are those with longterm health challenges such as asthma, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, or other lifelong conditions. The program emphasizes the persons’ role in managing their illness and building their self‐confidence so that they can be successful in adopting healthy behaviors. Participants in the class learn to deal with pain, fatigue and depression; discover ways to be more physically active; learn how to eat healthier; learn better ways to talk about their health with physicians and family; set personal goals; and find ways to relax and deal with stress. Participants can represent an individual with a chronic disease, a caregiver of someone with a chronic disease, or someone who wants to learn more about healthy living.

The Chronic Pain Self-Management workshop is an educational series presented by the AAA7 that is designed to help individuals age 60 and over with learning proven strategies to manage chronic pain and feel better. The program was developed with Stanford University and has been evaluated in clinical trials. People who participate in the program generally report more energy, less pain and improved mental health. They are also less dependent on others, more involved in everyday activities, and are more satisfied with their lives. The class is not a substitute for medical treatment, but can give you tools and ideas to improve or complement treatments and other efforts to manage your pain. Participants will learn about treatment options and be better able to make informed decisions about the treatments that are right for them.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is an educational series that is designed to provide family caregivers with the tools to take care of yourself while caring for a relative or friend. It is available to help family caregivers reduce stress, improve self-confidence, communicate feelings better, balance their lives, increase their ability to make tough decisions, and locate helpful resources.

The AAA7 is excited to offer these wonderful programs to our communities. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in attending an upcoming class in your county, call 1‐800‐582‐7277 and we can share the schedule with you and add you to the list for an upcoming class. You can also locate a class schedule on our website under “About AAA7” and “Upcoming Events” or follow us on Facebook to find out about upcoming programs. To be added to our quarterly wellness newsletter, “Living Well,” call us at our toll-free number or e-mail [email protected].

Jenni Dovyak-Lewis is the director of community outreach and training, Area Agency on Aging District 7 Inc.

By Jenni Dovyak-Lewis

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