Date: March 21, 2018
To: Members of the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging
From: Lynn Wolf, Communications Manager
Re: Falls Prevention Grants for 2018
We are pleased to offer grants to Councils on Aging for Falls Prevention programs. MCOA is able to offer programs from a grant award received from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs for the purpose of:
- providing seed money to COAs to offer Falls Prevention classes for local residents, up to 25 towns at $1000;
- providing money to COAs to purchase small exercise equipment to be used in Falls Prevention classes, up to a total of $1000.
- Note: You may apply for both of the above; however, understand that the grant amount is $1000 in total.
The grant period will be April 16, 2018 to June 30, 2018. NOTE: All monies must be spent by June 30, 2018. MCOA will award grants through an open, competitive application process. Grant opportunities are available to all eligible COAs. Eligibility includes being a member of MCOA and being up to date on MCOA dues through the current state fiscal year.
To apply, complete the application online at: 2018 Falls Prevention Program application Applications must be completed by March 30, 2018
All contracts are “Cost Reimbursement” contracts, meaning the COAs must incur costs and submit invoices for reimbursement to MCOA during the project period and up to 30 days after the end date for the project period. The full address to submit invoices to is: MCOA, Attn: Grants Manager, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306, Easthampton, MA 01027. Final reports from project grantees will be due to MCOA by July 13, 2018. MCOA may withhold reimbursement to a COA until receipt of final project reports.
We are pleased to be partnering with the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life®. Go4Life promotes healthy aging through four types of exercise – Endurance, Strength, Flexibility and Balance.
Most people tend to focus on one activity or type of exercise and think they’re doing enough. The goal, however, is to be creative and choose all four types of exercise — Endurance, Strength, Flexibility and Balance. All four types are important to your be in your best health. These activities help keep you healthy, improve your fitness, and help you do the tasks you need to do every day.
- Endurance exercises improve the health of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. They also delay or prevent many diseases that are common in older adults such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
- Stronger muscles can make it easier to do everyday things like get up from a chair, climb stairs, carry groceries, open jars, and even play with your grandchildren. Lower-body strength exercises also will improve your balance.
- Flexibility, or stretching, exercises give you more freedom of movement for your physical activities and for everyday activities such as getting dressed and reaching objects on a shelf.
- Balance exercises can help prevent falls and avoid the disability that may result from falling.
Go4Life also offers myriad vibrant and encouraging marketing and health promotions materials on their website (https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/) which you can order for free, as well as exercise videos on their YouTube channel that can be done at home to augment any exercise plan.
Please take advantage of this great resource! Even if your center has a falls prevention instructor, you can still use the Go4Life materials for free to encourage continued exercise and improvements to overall health.
Hiring a Falls Prevention Exercise Instructor:
The MA Commission of Falls Prevention for Phase 1, in 2013, reported that falls and fall-related injuries impose a significant public health burden on Massachusetts’ older residents and on the health care system that treats them. In MA, falls are the leading cause of injuries and injury death for people age 65 and older. And, the number of falls is rising every year. TBI, broken hips, loss of independence and death are some of falls’ most series outcomes.
The Commission report cited then that a number of community exercise and balance programs have been tested and proven to be effective in falls risk prevention. MCOA has an interest in making sure that all older adults in the Commonwealth have access to an affordable falls prevention course to address this epidemic.
MCOA seeks COAs who are able to hold 1-hour Physical Activity Programs twice a week for this grant period, in which exercises are tailored to each participant’s physical abilities and become more difficult as the program progresses by increasing the repetitions or the duration. A qualified exercise specialist must lead the program.
Each class should include all four types of exercise and should run for one hour with 50 minutes of movement:
- A 5-10 minute warm up that includes stretching.
- A 20-25 minute period of structured exercises and functional activities
- Exercises including raising arms over the head while seated, partial squats, tandem stepping and high speed stepping in place,
- Functional activities including sit to stand, stand to sit, and walking and turning.
- A 20 -25 minute group activity such as a relay race or ball game.
- Relay races could include walking on toes, walking backward, or stepping in and out of hoops as part of the course.
- Ball games may include adapted basketball and an adapted form of catch.
- A 5-10 minute cool down.
- Use Go4Life posters, booklets, flyers and postcards to promote your class.
- Exercise sessions should be held at least twice a week over the grant period.
- Each session should include all four types of exercise. Exercises should be tailored for participants with limited abilities (e.g. performed slower, doing fewer repetitions, using lighter objects and balls, or with support).
- Each session must include functional activities (such as sit to stand, and stand to sit, walking and stepping in different directions).
- Exercises should be accompanied by a brief explanation about how the exercises relate to movements used in everyday situations.
- Participants should be encouraged to use Go4Life exercise videos found on YouTube at home.
At the end of the period, the grantees will report on number of people who attended each session over the course of the grant period and lessons learned as host. A short survey (to be concluded at the beginning and end of the class) will be provided by MCOA.
Purchases of small exercise equipment to be used in Falls Prevention classes:
COAs may also apply for money for the purchase of small exercise equipment to be used in Falls Prevention classes. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Resistance bands
- Hand weights
- Kettle balls
- Floor mats
- Other equipment deemed necessary for Falls Prevention classes.
MCOA wants to make sure falls prevention classes exist, and where they do exist, they’re using the best equipment. MCOA will pay half the cost for up to 24 of each type of equipment, up to $1000.
In your proposals, be ready to address the following:
- Will your class be taught by COA Staff or will you be hiring an instructor?
- What is your maximum class size?
- How do you plan to get people to join your class in the timeframe allotted?
- What is your plan for continued falls prevention classes after the grant period?
- What will be the per person fee for the class?
- Do you have a revolving account already set up for class fees?
- If you select both grant options, provide a budget breakdown for the class and for the equipment.