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This page has information for volunteers and legislators about our agency’s mission and programs. To find local organizations with these kinds of programs, please visit our resource site GetCareSC.com.
Older Americans are disproportionately affected by chronic disease. Evidence-based programs (EBPs) can mitigate the negative impact of chronic diseases and related injuries, such as falls. Title III-D of the Older Americans Act provides funds to SC based on their share of the population aged 60 and over for programs that support healthy lifestyles and promote healthy behaviors. These funds can only be used for evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion programs which are designed to help older adults prevent and/or manage chronic diseases, adopt healthier lifestyles, improve their health status, and reduce their use of hospital services and emergency room visits. Healthy aging reduces healthcare costs and increases quality of life for older adults.
Evidence-based programs empower older adults to take control of their health by maintaining a healthy lifestyle through increased self-efficacy and self-management. These programs are based on research and provide documented health benefits, so you can be confident they work.
From 2013 to 2016, over 13,600 seniors and individuals with disabilities participated in one or more of the evidence-based programs mentioned below. An additional 54 individuals have participated in Tomando Control de su Salud – the Spanish Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.
The evidence-based programs were implemented at 117 unique sites across the state including: Senior High-rise Apts., Councils on Aging, Senior Centers, Hospitals, Independent Living Centers, Churches, Federal Prisons, Libraries, Health Centers, Dorn VA Medical Center, Catawba Indian Nation, Senior Retirement Communities, County Parks and Recreation Depts., City Leisure Centers, Senior Nutrition Sites, Wellness Centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Community Centers, Town Halls and several State Agencies. Most of these sites offered a program more than once and many offered more than one program.
Seventy-three leaders representing 34 unique organizations (four additional leaders were trained in Tomando Control de su Salud - Spanish Chronic Disease Self-Management Program) were trained to lead a variety of evidence-based programs, including: Councils on Aging, Senior Centers, Hospitals, Independent Living Centers, Churches, Federal Prisons, Dorn VA Medical Center, Catawba Indian Nation, County Parks and Recreation Depts., Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Community Centers, several State Agencies and the Consortium for Latino Immigration Studies at USC.
How can I get involved?
We are always happy to have more volunteers and participation from community-based organizations. If you'd like to become a trainer, or if you're an organization looking to implement an EBP, please contact the South Carolina Department on Aging at 803-734-9900.
All evidence-based programs are translated into practical, effective community-based programs. If you decide to become a trainer for one of the programs, you will receive a packaged program with a variety of supportive materials, including implementation manuals and specialized training. As a result, the program’s content and fidelity will be consistent in all settings, and it will be easy to deliver. The links below take you directly to the program website; however, many of these trainings are offered in South Carolina. Contact our office for more information.
Example programs include:
- Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)
- A Matter of Balance – reduces fall risk and fear of falling
- Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) - a program of CDC
- EnhanceFitness – overall functional fitness
- Tai Chi for Arthritis – improves movement, strength, flexibility, relaxation, pain and falls reduction
- Walk with Ease – reduction of pain and discomfort from arthritis, increased balance and strength
- Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program –AFEP
- Healthy Steps - improves overall wellness, range-of-motion, balance, strength, and endurance, as well as emotional well-being and self-image
Equally important, community organizations, hospitals and health care entities can partner to implement EBPs. Making community-clinical linkages is integral to promoting good health and reducing disease and disability.
Community-based organizations (CBOs) can be important partners in providing the resources necessary to deliver evidence-based programs to older individuals. Given their accessibility, affordability, and familiarity, CBOs (such as senior centers) provide a unique platform for reaching and engaging seniors. Unfortunately, in most communities, CBOs are not integrated into the health care delivery system. As health care payers and providers increasingly look to partner with community-based organizations (CBOs) to improve the care of their patients and lower their costs, evidence-based health and wellness promotion programs (EBPs) can be a vehicle to achieve some of these goals. CBOs and health care providers need to begin to partner, have staff trained and offer evidence-based programs in their community to improve the lives of their seniors and adults with disabilities.