Take Charge of Your Health
An Effective Practice
This practice has been Archived and is no longer maintained.
The U.S. Surgeon General and other sources have reported positive results from exercise even for persons in their 90s. In Georgia, a 17-county project encourages seniors to "Take Charge of Your Health" with fitness training, nutrition information, medication management, and accident prevention. Nutrition information and medication management sessions are incorporated into a holistic wellness program. The program encourages three fundamental habits: remove excess fat, eat vegetables and fruit five times a day, and "move, move your body." Participants may choose from six to seven activities a day, three times a week. Offerings include daily walking, Tai Chi, line dancing, resistance training, and low-impact aerobics. Exercises to improve balance and prevent falls are incorporated into the fitness sessions.
Goal / Mission
The goal of the program is to reduce medical costs, to prevent premature institutionalization, and to save taxpayers' dollars. Additionally, the program aims to prevent depression among the elderly, reduce daily living activity limitations caused by chronic diseases and lack of exercise, and increase the quality of life among the older adults.
Results / Accomplishments
In 2001, 9,239 persons used the program. Working with the University of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia, program staff have helped develop a research instrument, testing such functions as ability to touch fingers, amount of fruit and vegetables consumed each day, ability to arise from chairs without using hands, and stretching capacity. Data go to the University of Georgia for computer analysis. Three years of monitoring indicate that program participants show a marked increase in the first year. Improvement then goes down, but not to the point of regression. According to independent health tests performed by the Medical College of Georgia, the wellness program was crucial in improving participants' balance, strength, and flexibility.
About this Promising Practice
- Primary Contact
- No current contact information available
Health / Older Adults & Aging
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Prevention & Safety
- Senior Citizens Council of Greater Augusta and the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area)
- National Council on Aging
- Date of implementation
- Augusta, GA
- Target Audience