Blue Rivers Area Agency on Aging Health Promotion program provides diseases prevention services or health promotion programs to assist older adults in preventing illness and manage chronic physical conditions. Although illness and disability rates increase with age, research has demonstrated that health promotion and disease prevention activities can help promote healthy and independent lives for older individuals.

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention services promote healthy aging and the maintenance of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being in older adults. An active healthy lifestyle can help older adults prolong their independence and improve their quality of life.

Blue Rivers AAA provides evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion programs, such as Powerful Tools for Caregivers, Tai Chi for Arthritis, Stepping On and Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance. For more information call Blue Rivers AAA at 402-223-1376 or 888-989-9417.

Evidence-based programs

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is based on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed by Dr. Kate Lorig and her colleagues at Stanford University. The class provides caregivers a way to develop several self-care tools to reduce personal stress, change negative self-talk, and communicate needs to family members and healthcare providers in six weekly classes. The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program significantly improves self-care behaviors, management of emotions, self-efficacy, and use of community resources. It is a nationally recognized program and has met the highest level of criteria for evidence-based programs.

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Tai Chi for Arthritis is an effective and safe exercise program designed by Dr. Paul Lam in conjunction with a team of medical experts and Tai Chi masters. It was adopted by the Arthritis Foundation due to it being a safe and effective program for anyone with arthritis or similar chronic pain.

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Stepping On is a community-based falls prevention program aimed at educating participants and building confidence to reduce or eliminate falls. Anyone who is age 60 and over, and has had a fall in the past year or is fearful of falling would benefit from Stepping On. Stepping On is a 7-week workshop that covers basic balance and strength exercises, discussions about medications that may increase fall risk, and lessons on how to move about safely identifying hazards around the home and community. For more information about Stepping On please visit our Stepping On page.

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Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance (TJQMBB) is a research-based balance training regimen designed for older adults and people with balance disorders. Fuzhong Li, Ph.D., a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute, developed the program.

Although its origin can be traced to the contemporary simplified 24-form Tai Ji Quan routine, TJQMBB represents a significant paradigm shift in the application of Tai Ji Quan, moving the focus from its historical use as a martial art or recreational activity to propagating health by addressing common, but potentially debilitating, functional impairments/deficits.

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CHOICES supervisor, Kathy Erickson, RN, and members of the Cortland class demonstrating Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance.