The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that we take care of ourselves. We can hop on the internet for virtual doctor visits, virtual wellness groups and for health education. This has greatly benefitted seniors, persons with poor mobility or without transportation, and people who are unable to take time off from work.
The North Carolina (NC) Center for Health and Wellness at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Asheville has developed a division called Healthy Aging NC to offer free in-person and virtual evidence-based programs to people in need. Project Manager Nadia Mazza, from Healthy Aging NC, says that “There’s something for anyone looking to improve their health or well-being, particularly older adults.”
Here are some of the programs that are available:
- A Matter of Balance is a program designed for people at risk or fearful of falling. The program teaches balance and strength exercises, fall prevention and how to create a safer environment at home.
- Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention can help improve balance, strength and mobility. The exercises have been specifically modified for older persons and people with arthritis.
- Living Healthy with Chronic Disease Management is designed for people with chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, stroke and arthritis. The program is also available in Spanish.
- Living Healthy with Diabetes Self-Management teaches people with type 2 diabetes about their disease. It offers support with exercise, healthy eating and medication. The program is also available in Spanish.
- Health Coaching pairs people with a coach to help identify health concerns and achieve health goals.
- The Social Bridging Project is for people who are experiencing isolation or loneliness. Trained individuals perform check-in phone calls. People can be connected with transportation services, meal deliveries and free wellness programs. Other benefits include training in how to use social media and electronic communication devices to help reduce isolation.
- Walk with Ease is for people with arthritis, heart disease and other chronic health conditions who would like to increase their physical activity. It consists of a health-or-exercise-related education session, followed by stretching and a 10 to 35-minute walk. The program is also available in Spanish.
Interested persons can sign up online or refer others at healthyagingnc.com. There is no cost for this service.
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Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, email@example.com