Health ... and aging

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Supporting proven programs

St. Anthony Hospital Health Passport

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The Center for Healthy Aging at the National Council on Aging helps community providers implement evidence-based programs that improve older adults’ health. These programs include promoting physical activity, better nutrition, fall prevention, and chronic disease self-management. Many of these programs have been replicated across communities with the help of local philanthropy. Rather than start a new program from scratch, funders could consider using your funding to bring tested, reliable models into your communities and run those programs in partnership with local agencies. Below are just a few examples.

  • The Jarden Consumer Solutions Community Fund engages in community development initiatives, focusing on at‐risk women, families and youth, and food programs. A $5,000 grant to the PineBelt Association for Families in Petal, MS, helped support the Kinship Family program. The program offers the evidence-based Chronic Disease Self-management Program, developed at Stanford University, to low-income, African-American grandparents. The funding also helped pay for a water aerobics class for 12 grandparents who care for their grandchildren. The class had 100-percent attendance and at the end of the session, participants received a $70 gift certificate to buy healthy food to supplement their food stamps. Given its popularity, there are now plans to expand this program to other counties.
  • With its focus on health, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation in Washington, D.C., provided $10,000 to the Oasis Institute to expand the Active Living Every Day (ALED) program throughout the Washington, D.C. area. ALED is an evidence-based program designed to help older adults learn how to integrate activity into their daily lives. Through peer-discussion groups, participants meet once a week with a trained facilitator and learn about physical activity, how to set goals, identify barriers, and establish social support systems. Among the more than 100 participants, results have shown increases in moderate activity and motivation to be physically active; 80 percent of participants reported feeling less stress.
  • EnhanceFitness® is a low-cost, low-tech, best-practice fitness program. Evaluations have shown that older adults who participate in this program gained strength and energy and felt more positive. A $2,800 grant from John G. Duncan Charitable Trust helped pay for a year of classes that met three times per week for up to 20 individuals in Sliver Cliff, CO. This program has been replicated by hundreds of organizations in large initiatives and small programs across the country. Local funders could make modest grants to help implement it in their communities.