It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as you age, it allows you to enjoy an active, fulfilled life. The Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging provides a variety of health and wellness programs for seniors, both at Senior Community Centers and in the community.
Programs recognized as evidence-based have demonstrated the highest level of evidence of effectiveness based on rigorous scientific evaluations in large studies of diverse populations or through multiple replications, and shown significant and sustained effects. The Area Agency on Aging offers three evidence-based programs here in Lebanon County which are either endorsed or approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, they include Healthy Steps for Older Adults, Tai Chi for Arthritis, and Walk with Ease.
Healthy Steps of Older Adults is a fall prevention program that is designed to raise awareness of falls, introduce steps on how to reduce falls, improve overall health, and provide fall risk screenings to give participants adequate referrals to mitigate their fall risk in the future.
Healthy Steps is a free, two-part workshop, offered once a week for two weeks for two hours. This is a group program, where participants are encouraged to share ideas and problem solve together.
It addresses many common causes of falls, including:
Balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance exercises
Vision and Hearing
Side effects of medications
To see upcoming Healthy Steps for Older Adult workshops in your area, please check out the Upcoming Events. Or if you have questions, please call the Area Agency on Aging at 717-273-9262.
Healthy Steps for Older Adults is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
Tai Chi for Arthritis was developed by Dr. Paul Lam at the Tai Chi for Health Institute, the program utilizes Tai Chi’s Sun style for its ability to improve relaxation, balance, and its ease of use for older adults. The movements are taught to both left and right sides and with turns to move forward and backward to improve mobility and offer a variety of combinations.
Each Tai Chi session includes:
Warm-up and cool-down exercises
One or two movements per lesson, progressively leading to completing the six basic core movements and six advanced extension movements.
Tai Chi principles including those relating to improving physical and mental balance.
Seniors with or without arthritis can benefit from Tai Chi as it offers improved balance, muscular strength, and mobility. It was also shown to improve psychological health, decrease pain, and prevent falls.
Tai Chi is offered once or twice a week at three of Lebanon County’s Senior Community Centers. Tai Chi is offered in six week sessions regularly throughout the year. To see when the next session starts at a Senior Center near you, click here
Walk with Ease is a six week walking program developed by the Arthritis Foundation for those who need relief from arthritis pain or just want to be active. This program can teach you how to safely make physical activity part of your everyday life.
It is proven to:
Reduce pain and discomfort from arthritis
Increase balance, strength, and walking pace
Build confidence in your ability to be physically active
Improve overall health
Walk with Ease is offered in Lebanon County in a group setting as you follow the six week program you will get support from program leaders and fellow participants. You will also receive a tracking log and educational textbook.
Walk with Ease is offered three times a week for six weeks. Each session is one hour and allows for education and walking. To see when the next group session begins in Lebanon County, check out the Upcoming Events. To sign up or with questions call the Area Agency on Aging at 717-237-9262.
Health & Wellness Activities at Senior Community Centers
Lebanon County has five Senior Community Centers, each offers ongoing health and wellness activities. Check out the Senior Centers for a county-wide activity packet as well as individual center calendars. Here are a few programs at-a-glance that may interest you.
Water exercise provides an opportunity for seniors to stay strong, healthy, and active by providing a safe and low-impact option. Water exercises work out all the muscle groups in the body, presenting a complete workout for seniors, which is why the Area Agency on Aging partnered with the YMCA to offer a senior water exercise class.
Class is held Monday and Wednesday from Noon to 12:30 pm
Cost is $2 per class – Free for YMCA members
Give it a try and see if it is for you, new members always welcome! No sign-up required, this is a drop-in class held weekly from September – May each year.
For more information call the Area Aging on Aging at 717-273-9262
Strength training is an effective way to stay active and strong as you age. Band Together is a strength training program that uses resistance bands in a group setting to help build strength and increase muscle function in a fun, social setting. New members are always welcome to join any class.
Participants tell us that “it is fun being with others during the exercise time” and “carrying packages and groceries from the store is much easier now!”
The Lebanon County Area Agency on Aging has partnered with Penn State Hershey Medical Center to offer this free program at multiple sites in Lebanon County.