Health Foundation partners with state to spread Aging Mastery Program across WNY

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York has partnered with the New York State Office for the Aging on a 30-month initiative to embed the National Council on Aging’s Aging Mastery Program® in all eight counties of Western New York (Erie, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Niagara, Wyoming, Orleans, Allegany and Genesee).

AMP is a nationally recognized, fun and interactive class for adults 55 and older that encourages developing sustainable behaviors that lead to health improvements, stronger economic security, enhanced well-being and increased participation in society. The National Council on Aging created AMP to develop new expectations, norms and pathways for people aged 50 to 100 to make the most of their gift of longevity.

The 10-session program combines sharing knowledge in a classroom-like structure with goal setting, daily practice, peer support and small rewards. Expert local speakers lead a curriculum based on the challenges older adults may encounter as they age, and participants gain the skills and tools they need to master aging.

Class topics include: exercise, sleep, healthy eating, financial fitness, advanced planning, healthy relationships, medication management and falls prevention. An additional two weeks on the topic of family caregiving can also be included at the host’s option.

Preliminary results from pilot projects across the country show that after taking the 10 sessions, AMP participants significantly increased their physical activity levels, had healthier eating habits, increased their use of advanced planning, stayed more socially connected and participated in evidence-based self-management programs.

“Growing older is a natural part of the life cycle,” New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said. “People are living longer, and the overwhelming desire for most of us is to remain as independent and active as possible. To do that, we need to understand some of the challenges that face us as we grow older, and we also need to have strategies to help us meet our goals. AMP has proven results and is a fun way to improve health, stay connected, and enhance our well-being. NYSOFA is thrilled to partner with the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York and NCOA to continue to spread AMP throughout New York State.”

The New York State Office for the Aging worked with NCOA in 2016 and 2017 to pilot AMP in select counties across the state, including Erie, Niagara, and Chautauqua counties in western New York, with similar results.

The Health Foundation will be working with the Population Health Collaborative to implement AMP across western New York over the next two years.

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