Federal Grants Enable Preventive Health Programs to Reach More Older Missourians
St. Louis Oasis, the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Curators of the University of Missouri announce receipt of $1.5 million in Federal grants from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to support falls prevention and chronic disease self-management programs for older Missourians.
One in four adults age 65 and older fall each year and in Missouri, deaths from fall injuries for those over 65 is 31% higher than the national average. The new ACL grant will enable St. Louis Oasis, in partnership with the University of Missouri Extension program, to train new facilitators, instructors and staff at senior centers to provide Matter of Balance and Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention classes.
“Falls cost older adults their independence, their confidence and their quality of life, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Oasis Institute President Paul Weiss. “The Matter of Balance and Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention classes offered by Oasis and others in the community are helping older adults improve their balance, build their confidence and maintain their independence longer.”
By 2020, falls by older adult are expected to cost the economy approximately $67 billion. According to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Matter of Balance program has saved over $2.1 million in healthcare costs since 2015.
The new ACL grants will also enable the University of Missouri School of Medicine Missouri Osteoarthritis Program to expand its evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs for older adults.
“Managing chronic illnesses and preventing falls are two of the most important things we can do to preserve our independence as we get older,” said Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living Lance Robertson. “ACL is proud to support these programs, which give people effective tools for remaining healthy and active throughout life, and we are delighted to help make it possible for more Missourians to participate.”
The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging will now offer chronic disease self-management classes in Spanish for older adults in senior centers thanks to the new ACL grants.
“As our communities become more diverse, our programs must follow suit. This is a simple and cost-effective way to promote significant health improvements in a growing part of our senior population,” said Catherine Edwards, Executive Director of the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
About The Oasis
Oasis is a national education organization that promotes healthy aging through lifelong learning and service. Offering stimulating programs in the arts, humanities, health, technology and volunteer service, Oasis brings people together to learn, lead and contribute in their communities. The Oasis Institute in St. Louis is the headquarters of a national network that serves a broad audience in more than 250 communities through nine educational centers and over 700 community partners. For more information, visit www.oasisnet.org
About the Curators of the University of Missouri
The Board of Curators, the governing body of the University of Missouri, consists of nine members, who are appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
About the Missouri Area Agency
The Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4) was founded in 1973 to serve as a statewide advocate and resource for older Missourians. MA4 is comprised of the state’s 10 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), which were created under the 1973 amendments to the Older American’s Act of 1965. For 45 years, these local agencies have been providing vital services, programs and information to millions of Missourians and their caregivers, including legal services, home-delivered meals, disease prevention and health promotion, transportation, public benefits counseling, senior center services and activities and in-home services. The 10 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) provide a coordinated network of care which are designed to help older Missourians maintain their independence and give them a voice in articulating their concerns and changing needs.
About the Administration for Community Living
The Administration for Community Living was created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities. By funding services and supports provided by networks of community-based organizations, and with investments in research, education and innovation, ACL helps make this principle a reality for millions of Americans.