Wellness Initiatives – Physical and Mental
Sponsor the Aging Mastery Program
MCOAs has partnered with NCOA to develop this effective, fun and engaging education series where older adults succeed in adopting new healthy aging habits.
Promote Walking Year Round via Keep Moving Clubs and the Annual “Go the Distance” 1-Mile Walk Challenge
Encourage Year Round Falls Prevention Exercise Classes in Every Town
MCOA funded a Falls Prevention Exercise Toolkit designed by a physical therapist that provides class leaders and students with photographs and descriptions for how to properly do each exercise. Toolkit also has good outcome surveys.
“Live Your Life Well” – 1-Day Training on Resilience Techniques
This is a popular, fun, inexpensive and effective way to engage a large group of older adults (30-40 typically) to share their personal methods for maintaining a positive attitude. Download the MCOA Program Toolkit today!
Regional Caregiver Support Groups
Groups meet biweekly with onsite respite supports. Of special note, the Barnstable Center has launched a new support group for LGBT caregivers. MCOA toolkit provides useful participant feedback survey.
Regional Bereavement Support Groups
Groups for older adults are especially helpful for people who are grieving for their significant others as well as their adult children who died as a result of a drug overdose or an accident related with substance abuse.
Regional Elder Mental Health Outreach Teams
Three new regional programs led by Amesbury, Bellingham and New Bedford COAs now have a behavioral health clinician who works alongside outreach staffs of 16 municipalities. The teams identify, assess, counsel directly or link older adults with mental illness to PCPs and other mental health clinicians. Local APS, PDs, FDs, EMTs, housing authorities and hospitals also refer to EMHOT clinicians.
Supporting the Caregiver
Over 20 new memory cafés were launched in MA during 2016 – 8 with funding from MCOA under its SIG grant from Elder Affairs, and 13 with funding from DDS, plus others by local COAs. Memory cafés offer social connection, support, invigorating activity, and information. A new Memory Café toolkit is available for free at www.jfcsbostonorg. The Toolkit was developed as a public service by our partner JF&CS of Boston, with funding from MCOA.