Healthy Aging Initiative
Promoting healthy aging so you can stay independent in your home longer
By 2060, the number of older adults in the U.S. is projected to be nearly 100 million, up from 47.8 million today. Aging in place provides independence and autonomy while maintaining well-being through caring relationships and access to resources. One of the cornerstone resources for aging well is preventative "wellness" and fall prevention. Inconsistent availability of geriatric preventative health care, due to limited availability, access, and affordability of services are significant challenges – as is a shortage of geriatric healthcare providers. A 2008 survey from the Institute of Medicine demonstrated that there is inadequate exposure to geriatric populations during training, and very few healthcare professionals develop an interest in the care of older adults. The result is that older adults living in rural and semi-urban communities have limited or no access to vital preventative health care resources in or close to home.
Central Michigan University (CMU), with support from Michigan Health Endowment Fund and Region VII Area Agency on Aging, is building the Healthy Aging Initiative. CMU, in partnership with the local County Commissions on Aging (Isabella, Clare, and Gratiot) and other stakeholders in the community will develop programs to improve older adult wellness, reduce the risk of falls and provide home-based replicable low-cost solutions for healthy aging. The initiative leverages CMU’s academic strengths to bring “wellness” and fall prevention programs to the older adults in the community.
Healthy Aging Initiative Programs
Home Health Visit, Fall Risk Screening Program
Central Michigan University (CMU) is providing a unique Home Visit Fall Risk Screening Program to aging area adults as part of our Healthy Aging initiative. The program offers a free wellness check and fall risk screening home visit by a team
of CMU medical, health profession and social work students and one faculty member. Team members conduct a wellness check-up focused on reducing fall risk which lasts approximately 1-2 hours. This opportunity also provides students’
exposure to their communities and develops skills to assist older adult patients. This program is supported by a Michigan Health Endowment Grant. The program is voluntary and is offered at no cost to participants.
The program’s goal is to promote healthy aging so participants may stay independent in their home longer. Participants will be able to provide direct feedback to help further develop the students into competent health professionals and physicians.
The free wellness check includes:
- Fall Risk Screening
- A medication review
- Visual acuity and hearing test
- Basic oral health exam
- Foot exam and more
- The ability to volunteer to support the training of new doctors
Please complete the attached questionnaire to register for the program. You may also print and mail the form to the address provided. You may also call Healthy Aging voicemail to sign up or ask questions at 989-774-1350.
Participants will get a comprehensive wellness report after the visit and where necessary advised to follow-up with their healthcare provider for any new health-related issues identified. If you do not have a primary health Care provider, please visit CMUHealth.org. For psychosocial and financial issues, a resources list will be provided for Isabella, Clare, and Gratiot County.
Fall Prevention, Exercise Program
Central Michigan University (CMU) is providing a unique program called the Fall Prevention
Otago-Exercise Program as part of our Healthy Aging initiative. This opportunity provides students’ exposure to the community and develops skills to assist older adult patients. This program is supported by Region VII Area
Agency on Aging grant. Participation in the program is voluntary and is offered at no cost to participants.
The free Fall Prevention Exercise Program provides:
- Fall risk screening by CMU health professionals
- An individualized exercise program developed specifically for you
- The opportunity to receive training and become a peer-coach for others
- The ability to volunteer and support the training of health professional students
For older adults assessed with mild or no-risk of fall, the Matter of Balance exercise program provided by the local Commission on Aging is recommended. Participants who follow a regular exercise regimen will be advised to continue. A follow-up visit will be scheduled in approximately one year’s time.
For older adults assessed at moderate risk of fall, we offer the Otago exercise program, designed to improve balance and reduce the risk of falling.
The program is an 8-week exercise program tailored to the individual and can be followed at home or in a group at the local sites in all three counties. A follow-up assessment will be conducted based on your response to, and the requirements of the program.
Participants Register Now Please complete the attached questionnaire to register for the program. You may also print and mail the form to the address provided. You may also call the Healthy Aging voicemail to register or ask questions at 989-774-1350.
Students Volunteer Now
Improve your patient care skills, gain experience working with a team of health providers, and help older adult participants decrease their risk of falls. Student volunteers work directly with participants in collaboration with a physical therapist and earn credit for volunteer hours.
Supported by a federal grant through Region VII-Area Agency on Aging.
CARES: Crisis Avoidance for Rural Older Adult Stakeholders
Share your experience with COVID-19 to help develop the CMU College of Medicine develop a Crisis Preparedness Toolkit for older adults living in rural communities. This toolkit will promote self-reliance and empower wellbeing during times of crisis.
Please consider giving 30 to 60 minutes of your time for a confidential telephone or online interview. We are interested in hearing about how prepared you felt and what resources could have helped your day-to-day life. Eligible participants are 60 years of age or older and live in a rural community.
All participants will have the opportunity to evaluate the toolkit when it is complete.
Please contact us at CMUCARES4AGING@cmich.edu OR by phone 989-774-2442 for more information on how to get involved.
Your input is important to us, and together, we can make a difference. Thank you!
Rural Older Adult Mobile (ROAM) Care: Bringing health care to the patient!
ROAM brings the doctor's office to your home, providing a free or low-cost alternative for primary health care.
Medical services provided include:
- Full geriatric assessments
- Preventative services such as screening and immunizations
- Direct patient care such as primary care check-ups and chronic disease management
- Patient and caregiver education such as medication management and disease management
- Some routine blood tests, e.g. for diabetes and cholesterol
ROAM will also conduct patient and care-giver education, provide referrals to other medical services, and coordinate your health care with your other providers.
You qualify if you are:
- 60 years of age or older
- A resident of Isabella, Clare or Gratiot County
- In need of a primary care physician
- Having difficulty visiting your primary care physician
- Having transportation issues for doctors’ appointments
- Repeatedly visiting the emergency room
To sign up today or for further information, call Myra at 989-774-7026 or email ROAM@cmich.edu.
Supported by Michigan Health Endowment Fund
Living FREE: Fall Reduction, Education and Empowerment
Central Michigan University is providing a unique program Living FREE: Fall Reduction, Education and Empowerment to aging area adults as part of our Healthy Aging Initiative. This program offers a person-centric prevention model for
"post fall" older adults to reduce recurrent falls, improve their health and quality of life, and continue to live independently in the community. Participants will be able to provide direct feedback to allow for further growth.
This program is offered free of charge to those residing in our Central Michigan Regions.
Living FREE features:
- Introduction Interview
- Home Safety Assessment
- Individualized Fall Reduction Plan
Within one week of enrollment, and in home visit will occur. This will include an assessment of barriers and motivators to: (1) lifestyle changes (2) management of comorbidities and (3) psychosocial environment. A home physical safety
inspection will take place at this time. Based on this we will develop and individualized fall risk improvement plan for you. It will include educational sessions and may also include advice on an exercise program; audit your medications,
and provide advice on comorbidities management with home safety measures. Progress will be reviewed every 6 weeks, and plan will be revised as necessary to mitigate barriers to continued success. The program is designed to be run
for up to one year.
Benefits of the program include reduced risk of recurrent falls, improved health and quality of life, and prolong your ability for independent living in community.
Please complete the attached questionnaire to enroll in the Living FREE: Fall Reduction, Education and Empowerment Program. You may also call the Living FREE voicemail to ask questions or sign up at 989-774-1350.
Supported by Michigan Health Endowment Fund.