January 2014 presentation of the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report by Beth Dugan, Ph.D., associate professor of Gerontology at UMass Boston. Reaction from Secretary Ann Hartstein, MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, MA Department of Public Health.
Highlights from the forum, Healthy Aging in the Commonwealth: Charting a Path Forward, held January 24, 2014. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum and the Tufts Health Plan Foundation.
In this video, executive directors of Ethos AgeWell West Roxbury, ITNGreaterBoston and Mystic Valley Elder Services join the Tufts Health Plan Foundation in highlighting the importance of alleviating social isolation through physical and social activities that help people feel better about their lives and have a purpose for getting up every day.
In this video, Dale Mitchell, executive director of Ethos, and Garry Sanon, Fit-4-Life program coordinator for Kit Clark Senior Services, highlight the benefits of healthy aging programs for improving strength, mobility and nutrition. They also explain how these programs help people manage the challenges associated with aging alongside their peers and build new relationships that last beyond the time span of a particular class.
The purpose of Tai Chi is to promote strength, improve balance and ultimately prevent falls in older adults. In this video, Ethos Executive Director Dale Mitchell is joined by Tai Chi participants Steve Bennett and Patricia Teahan who talk personally about what they’ve gained from Tai Chi classes. Tai Chi has helped them build their confidence and overcome the fear of falling so they can move around more easily and live independently. This video was filmed during a Tai Chi class led by Ethos at Hebrew SeniorLife.
Intergenerational programs help older adults and young people learn about and respect each other. These programs, such as reading programs where older adults come into schools to read to younger kids, or programs where teens teach older adults computer skills, are a way of giving back and sharing knowledge and experiences.
More than 65 million people, 29% of the U.S. population, provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend during any given year and spend an average of 20 hours per week providing care for their loved one, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. In this video, executive directors of Ethos AgeWell West Roxbury and Mystic Valley Elder Services join the Tufts Health Plan Foundation in offering resources for family caregivers to get the support they need.
Transportation is essential for defining the quality of life for an older person. In this video, 71-year-old Eleanor explains what it’s like to lose your freedom to drive. Executive directors of Ethos AgeWell West Roxbury and ITNGreaterBoston join the Tufts Health Plan Foundation in discussing how access to affordable and reliable transportation can empower older adults to maintain their independence, increase civic and social participation, and access community and health services.