Poor health is not an expected consequence of aging. Many aging Mainers enjoy independent, active living with minimal health problems. Many older adults suffer from chronic and infectious diseases, injuries, and functional limitations that are avoidable or can be delayed.
To assure that older adults maintain optimal health and quality of life as they age, Maine offers evidence-based programs to people age 60 and older.
Living Well (Chronic Disease Self-Management)
Living Well is a model of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) developed at Stanford for people impacted by health conditions including diabetes, arthritis, depression, asthma, and heart disease.
Self-management programs empower participants to take an active role in managing health and lifestyle changes. Participants report they:
- are exercising more and have more energy
- had fewer sick days
- are better able to cope with their conditions and manage symptoms; and,
- feel better
This workshop is free and offered throughout the year at locations and times convenient for you. Groups meet for two and a half hours, once a week for six weeks. Workshops are led by two trained leaders and focus on symptom management, eating, exercise, medication use, emotional management, problem-solving, and communication with clinicians and family members.
CDSMP is also online; it’s called Better Choices, Better Health. Participants can log onto the free sessions from any computer at any time to participate in workshop sessions, complete exercises, read posted material, and interact with others. The workshops can be very useful for those individuals without access to transportation, who need a more flexible schedule, or prefer the anonymity of participating in a virtual group.
A Matter of Balance
A Matter of Balance (MOB), Managing Concerns About Falls is a program, specifically designed to reduce fear of falling, stop the fear of falling cycle, and improve activity levels among community-dwelling older adults. The program includes eight two-hour classes where participants learn to view falls and fear of falling as controllable; to set realistic goals for increasing activity; to change their environment to reduce fall risk factors; to promote exercise to increase strength and balance. Participants have found significant improvement regarding their level of falls management; falls control; level of exercise; and social limitations with regard to concern about falling.
EnhanceFitness is an exercise program for seniors that offers low-cost fitness classes taught by certified fitness instructors. The one-hour classes meet three times per week in ongoing, five-week sessions. The classes include strength training with wrist and ankle weights, as well as aerobics, stretching, and balancing exercises.
The program is designed to be safe and effective for seniors with a wide range of physical abilities. The program is designed to be safe for physically unfit seniors, including the “near frail,” yet still challenging for more active seniors.
The program includes:
- strength training
- balance exercises
Classes are held for one hour three times a week. Fee varies by host site.
EnhanceWellness is an effective participant driven, health promotion and management program that helps older adults with chronic conditions achieve their personal health goals through health action plans and has demonstrated significant results in the utilization of health care services. Core components include nursing and social work support, a health review and functional assessment, development of a personal health action plan, motivational interviewing, and peer Health Mentors and Support Groups.
This program helps you to create your own personalized plan for a healthier lifestyle.
- Your own team to help you – a registered nurse, social worker, and a trained health mentor
- A health screening and action plan
- Ongoing personal encouragement
- Problem solving, health education, and regular monitoring
- Support groups and links to other community services