Promoting Physical, Mental, and Social Well-Being for Isolated Older Adults in Rural Colorado

Aging Well program helps residents remain at home as they age

    • June 28, 2013

Of 87 participants who completed a health questionnaire about the rural Aging Well program, 86 percent reported improved health status, 76 percent reported being able to do more activities they enjoyed, and 47 percent reported fewer doctor visits.

Dates of Project: 2008–2012

Field of Work: Providing wellness classes and social interactions for rural elderly populations

Problem Synopsis: For people growing old in rural areas, the typical challenges of staying healthy are complicated by a range of factors, including social isolation, few cultural and social services, lack of access to medical care, inadequate housing, and the unavailability of basic transportation. Although there are a number of wellness programs for elderly people in urban communities, there are few available models for rural communities.

Synopsis of the Work: Aging well:

  • Expanded the aging services infrastructure in the two counties to better meet the needs of elders and their caregivers living in rural settings
  • Created a platform of evidence-based practices and programs proven to improve health in older adults to help them age in place.
  • Developed community-based partnerships designed to provide opportunities for mental and physical activities, along with social and intellectual stimulation for aging adults

Key Results: Aging Well provided workshops, classes, and clinics for older adults during the four-year grant period. Examples of these are once-a-week interactive wellness sessions; fitness and exercise classes; senior wellness clinics for blood pressure checks, weight monitoring, and blood glucose readings; foot care clinics; and chronic disease self-management workshops.

  • A total of 1,868 individuals participated in a combined total of 39,066 times in Aging Well programs over four years.

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Rural Colo.: fewer doctor visits reported by almost 50% of participants surveyed about Aging Well program

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