Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mastering the art of aging

Interested in feeling better today and staying healthy for the future? Today, we are living longer – so it is good to be thinking about ways to engage in ongoing and positive ways to make the most of longevity. In 1950, the average American who was 65 could expect to live another 14 years in retirement, with roughly half of that time in good health. Today, once people reach age 65, they can expect to live another 19 years with roughly 66% of that time in good health. As a result, we can expect to have the greatest amount of free time in history. It is exciting for me to share with you a wonderful program being implemented by The Dale Association, in partnership with National Council on Aging, New York State Office for Aging, Niagara County Office for Aging, and SUNY Albany’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Community Wellness – called “Aging Mastery Program”. It is an opportunity for you to participate in a program that provides new pathways that encourages your ongoing and positive engagement in life. It is an incentive based program designed to inform, encourage, and support aging adults as they take steps to improve their lives and stay engaged in their communities. The Aging Mastery Program is about feeling better today and staying healthy for the future. National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the nation’s leading non-profit service and advocacy organization representing older adults and the community organizations that serve them. NCOA works with national and local partners to give older adults tools and information to stay healthy and secure, and advocates for programs and policies to improve the lives of older adults. First piloted nationally, the Aging Mastery Program incorporates evidence-based materials, expert speakers, group discussion, and peer support to give participants the skills and tools they need to achieve measureable improvements in managing their health and remaining economically secure. The program aims to empower adults to make and maintain small, effective changes to their behaviors to live a healthier, happier, and more secure life. Small steps can make a big difference in your health and well-being, and even modest improvements can make life fun and meaningful. Participants set individual goals and a key element of the program is the reward system, designed to both motivate and encourage ongoing participation. Incentives are an essential feature of the program and help turn learning into doing. The incentives are tied directly to the action steps in each class. Participants earn points for each action step they accomplish. At the end of the 10 week session, participants receive rewards based on the number of total points they achieved. The following testimonials highlight the impact of the program on past participants: “I was reminded that it was important to feel and express gratitude each day, and I have tried to make this part of my morning routine.” “I developed a more positive acceptance of both my past and future.” “This program was very uplifting. I learned that the aging process can be done gracefully. I am working on a plan for the future to share with my family.” Additional information about what topics participants can expect to be covered follows: Navigating longer lives - A special emphasis on the new realities of aging and making the most of the gift of longevity. Overview of how sleep patterns change as we age and simple strategies to improve sleep. Review of nutrition as it relates to aging with a focus on strategies to incorporating healthy eating and hydration into daily routines. How to take medications as directed, how to store medications safely, and how to keep track of multiple medications. Overview of the importance of falls prevention among older adults and strategies to prevent falling. The benefits of being socially active, as well as exploring the risks of isolation. Focuses on continuing to build and strengthen healthy relationships and family connections as we age. Introduction to the value of identifying meaningful volunteer and community engagement opportunities. Discussion of the importance of aerobics, strengthening, flexibility, and balance as they relate to aging with a focus on strategies for incorporating physical activity into daily routines. Strategies for remaining economically secure in an era of longevity. Guidance around key steps needed to manage health care, financial, and housing/care decisions. A graduation ceremony for participants will also take place. Aging Mastery Program is a FREE class and will be offered beginning Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 10:00 – 11:30am and will run for 10 weeks. The classes will take place at The Dale Association, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport. Advance reservations are needed; to reserve your seat, please call 433-1886, visit our website at or stop in at our Centre, 33 Ontario Street, Lockport, NY. Thanks to the generosity of the Office for Aging, participation in the session is free. We hope to recruit a wide range of participants and the class is appropriate for adults of all ages. If this program piques your interest and you want to learn more, please call 433-1886 and ask for Jennifer Burt at extension 104. Jennifer Burt, Program Coordinator and Aging Mastery Lead at The Dale Association, says, “I’m very excited about the Aging Mastery Program being available to Niagara County residents. I encourage people to enroll; it will be fun, educational, and rewarding. The comprehensive approach to your overall well-being is great” The Dale Association is a unique non profit organization which has been responding to needs of adults in our Niagara community for 66 years. It has been said many times that our services help make lives better and we are proud to be able to do this for people with so many different needs. The Dale Association’s mission is to provide comprehensive services and coordinate connections for adults in Niagara and neighboring counties which enhance their health and wellness and empower them to build bridges into their communities. This important mission is the focal point of each program – including our Senior Services, Mental Health Services, Enrichment Activities, and Caregiver Support Services. Our Senior Services offer activities that enhance health, encourages community involvement, utilizes years of experience and allows for the development of friendships, as well as a sole local resource for the visually and hearing impaired. Memory Minders a social program for individuals with mild memory loss is also among The Dale Association’s community support services helping to improve the quality of life for adults. Our Mental Health Services have the clearly stated goal of assisting people to remain emotionally stable and living independently in the community. The Enrichment Activities are geared to developing and enhancing skills with the objective of adding to the quality of life. The goal of Caregiver Support Services is to help informal caregivers’ ability to manage and coordinate care. For more information about The Dale Association or its programs, please visit or our blog at http://www.ExceptionalYouAtTheDale.blogspot. Side Bar: WHAT: Aging Mastery Program - FREE WHEN: Starting November 2, 2017 For 10 weeks TIME: 10:00 – 11:30am PLACE: The Dale Association 33 Ontario Street, Lockport Please RSVP to 433-1886

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