Wellness Programs

Chronic conditions are the most common and costly of all health conditions, but they are also the most preventable. Although chronic conditions are more common among older adults, they affect people of all ages and are now recognized as a leading health concern.

The wellness programs from Southern Maine Agency on Aging are classes and workshops designed to help adults of all ages live healthy, active lives. All wellness programs are evidenced-based and fidelity monitored. Each of the programs has demonstrated a favorable return on investment. Programs may be offered on-site for the patient/member or patients may participate in locally scheduled sessions within the community which are funded by their healthcare plan or provider group via a stipend for participation.

A recruitment model may also be supported in which a patient panel provided to SMAA by the healthcare entity are contacted by SMAA for participation based on health needs and potential benefits of the program. SMAA is fully HIPAA compliant, enabling the exchange of such recruitment data between providers and insurers.

Tai Chi for Health and Balance

Tai Chi for Health and Balance (TCHB) was developed by Dr. Paul Lam for the Arthritis Foundation. The program uses gentle Sun-style Tai Chi routines that are safe, easy to learn, and suitable for every fitness level. TCHB combines agile steps, joint-safe exercise and mental strength to improve mobility, breathing, and relaxation. It is a joint-safe way for people of all ages and abilities to take control of their physical, emotional, and mental health.

According to a report by the Arthritis Foundation, TCHB has been linked to:
• Decreased pain
• Improved movement
• Improved ability to perform daily tasks
• Improved strength, flexibility, and balance

TCHB is offered in 8-week sessions. During each session, classes meet for 1 hour twice a week. To achieve the full benefit of TCHB participants should plan on attending three 8-week sessions for a total of 24 weeks.

A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance is an award-winning, evidence-based falls intervention designed to reduce the fear of falling and encourage physical activity.

Studies indicate that half of older adults may experience fear of falling, and that many respond to this concern by curtailing activity. Being inactive results in the loss of muscle, strength, and balance. It can also compromise social interaction and increase the risk of isolation, depression, and anxiety. The fear of falling can actually contribute to falling.

A Matter of Balance teaches participants to set goals, make changes around their homes, exercise for strength, and change attitudes toward falls.

A Matter of Balance is an 8 week program. Each class is 2 hours and meets once a week. Programs may also be offered twice weekly for 4 weeks.

Chronic Disease/Pain Self-Management

According to the National Health Council, chronic pain and chronic disease affects over 40% of all adults in the US with 20% or more reporting multiple conditions. Nearly 75% of all healthcare costs are due to chronic conditions. Four of the five most expensive health conditions are chronic conditions.

Southern Maine Agency on Aging offers a nationally-recognized workshop, created by Stanford Medicine, designed specifically for individuals struggling with chronic disease: Living Well for Better Health.

Living Well for Better Health is designed to help people living with chronic conditions become proactive self-managers of their own health. Participants report lower health distress, decreased fatigue, fewer visits to the doctor's office, and fewer hospitalizations.

Living Well for Better Health is a 6 week program. Each class is 2.5 hours and meets once a week.

Wellness Programs: What to Expect

• SMAA can support recruitment of patients/members via invitation based on patient/provider data
• Patients may self-select and register for local wellness events
• SMAA handles all registration for events and shares the data with the healthcare provider or insurer
• SMAA can capture important information during the registration process such as offering an option for vaccines or making appointments for annual physicals