Healthy Living as You Age
Minnesota’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) are leading a transformative effort to improve community health. The Healthy Living as You Age initiative builds a statewide network of evidence-based programs to help people manage chronic conditions, prevent falls and more. The initiative leverages the AAAs’ strong foundation of knowledge and experience with evidence-based health promotion programs. New partnerships with health care and community-based organizations will broaden the statewide reach and impact. Learn more about the innovative initiative.
About Evidence-Based Programs
An evidence-based program is a program that has been proven to produce positive outcomes through rigorous research and extensive real-world testing. These programs bridge the gap between theory and practice, translating research into programs that make positive change in people’s lives.
To be called an evidence-based program the following must be true (Cornell University):
- The program is evaluated using a treatment group and a control group of randomly assigned people and can demonstrate positive outcomes that can be attributed to the program. Study results are replicated in more than one study.
- Study results are peer reviewed by other scientists and, often, are published in peer-reviewed journals.
- A detailed manual guides program replication so that local implementation matches program design as closely as possible to achieve demonstrated results.
Sampling of Evidence-Based Programs Supported
A Matter of Balance (MOB) helps older adults address the fear of falling and increase their level of activity. Participants take part in eight two-hour sessions led by a trained facilitator. This nationally recognized program was developed at the Roybal Center at Boston University.
The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) is designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms and how their health problems affect their lives. Small-group, highly interactive workshops meet once a week for six weeks for 2 ½ hours. They are facilitated by a pair of leaders one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic diseases themselves.
This Tai Ji program reduces the risk of falls by improving balance, muscle strength, flexibility and mobility. The program includes eight Tai Ji forms that emphasize weight shifting, postural alignment, and coordinated movements. Each session includes instructions in new movements as well as review of movements from previous sessions.
Healthy Aging Minnesota
The mnhealthyaging.org website is an excellent resource about healthy living for people in mid-life and older. The site offers information about physical activity, healthy eating, managing chronic conditions, preventing falls, and more.
Looking for a class on healthy living near you? The website’s “Find a Class” event calendar can help you make a connection no matter where you are in the state.