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Senior Health and Wellness Programs Expanded

Southfield, Mich. (September 8, 2015) – The Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) is expanding proven and successful “Great at Any Age” health and wellness programming for older adults, age 60 +, at locations throughout southeastern Michigan.  Two specific evidence-based programs, one to help seniors prevent falls and increase confidence and safety – A Matter of BalanceTM – and the second to help individuals manage diabetes – Diabetes PATH (Personal Action Toward Health) – will be offered at local senior centers, community centers and various other locations and are led by trained peers and professionals.

“We are excited about increasing access to these educational and empowering programs to help older adults and improve their health and wellness across the region,” said Tina Abbate Marzolf, CEO of the Area Agency on Aging 1-B.  “A Matter of Balance and Diabetes PATH have been demonstrated to have a real and lasting impact on people’s lives.”

A Matter of BalanceTM, developed by MaineHealth, is designed to help reduce an individual’s fear of falling and increase their activity level.  The interactive workshops engage participants in group discussion, problem solving, skill building, and assertiveness training.  Students learn exercises to increase flexibility, range of motion, strength and balance.  Participants are taught to think of falling and the fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals for increasing activity, and change their environment to reduce their risk of falling.  A Matter of BalanceTM is held two hours per week for eight weeks and led by two trained instructors.

Diabetes PATH, also known as D-PATH, was developed by the Stanford University School of Medicine to help individuals manage their Type 2 Diabetes. Workshop participants learn techniques to deal with the symptoms of diabetes, fatigue, pain, stress and emotional challenges such as depression, anger, frustration and fear. They also learn strategies for healthy eating, appropriate exercises to maintain and improve strength and endurance and ways to work more effectively with their doctor. Family members, friends and caregivers are also encouraged to attend the workshop. Diabetes PATH is a six-week workshop conducted in 2 ½ hour sessions each week.

The expansion of these “Great at Any Age” programs – A Matter of BalanceTM and Diabetes PATH – is made possible through a two-year grant from the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.  The grant will operate statewide through the 16 Area Agencies on Aging, dramatically increasing the number of graduates for both programs, from 400-500 a year for each program, to 1,500 the first year and 2,500 the second year for each program, with a total of 8,000 graduates statewide by October 31, 2016.  The AAA 1-B expects to impact more than 1,914 total participants living in its six-county region of Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw between now and November 2016.

A Matter of BalanceTM and Diabetes PATH classes cost $15 to enroll. Participants are expected to attend all weekly sessions to complete the class. Upon completion, each participant will receive a $15 gift card.

For more information, visit our Senior Health and Wellness page.  To register for one of these classes, call the Area Agency on Aging 1-B at 800-852-7795.

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