Senior Services Associates, Inc. offers evidence-based exercise programs at their senior centers that can be of great benefit to you, your spouse and friends. Just what are “Evidence-Based Healthy Aging Programs?” These are programs which have been designed with measureable outcomes that can be evaluated and have been proven to produce positive, healthy results. These programs have been created to promote and enhance the independent lifestyles of seniors, they are sponsored by the Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging and offered at no cost to you! These life changing programs, recommended by the NCOA, include:
- The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: This is a 6 week program, developed at Stanford University, which provides information, helps you to create and implement your action plan and teaches practical skills on managing chronic health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and strokes; also offered in Spanish.“The information helped us learn more about our own medical conditions, and we learned how our peers cope with the same conditions.”
- Matter of Balance: This is an 8 week program, developed by Boston University, which emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels. Participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable, set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and exercise to increase strength and balance.“By taking these classes, I feel strong. I am motivated to sign up for whatever is offered because I enjoy exercising and learning with the group!”
- Fit and Strong!: This is an 8 week program, developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago, which combines flexibility, strength training and aerobic walking with health education to create a lifestyle change among older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis (OA).“I just feel better all the way around and stronger. Not as stiff when walking, going upstairs or getting out of the car.”
- Eating Better and Moving More: This is a 12 week program in which participants learn about good nutrition and take part in a walking program. It was designed by Florida International University to fit the interests and needs of older adults who want to maintain their quality of life and independence.
It has been proven that those who enroll in these programs and continue to utilize the skills, exercise and behavioral improvements have significant improvements in their ability to exercise, are more social and have better physical and emotional health. In addition to all of the health benefits, did we mention that these programs are provided by certified trainers; they are FUN and are at no cost to the participants?
Looking for more? Try Country Line Dance, Tap or Folkloric Dance, Tai Chai, Yoga, Super Stretches or Walking Club; also parties, dances, educational workshops, computer, craft and art classes and more, offerings vary by location.
Some experts say it takes 21 days to create a habit; others say it takes up to 200+ days. With multiple class offerings let’s see how long it takes YOU to create some healthy aging habits or to build on and add variety to good habits you already have in place.
The great news is that the positive testimonials by older adults who have participated in one or more of these programs keep coming in to our offices throughout the three counties we serve. If you are interested in participating, give your local Senior Services Office a call! We would love to see everyone take positive steps to healthy aging!