AUGUSTA — A recently-awarded grant allows Healthy Living for ME and its statewide Area Agency on Aging partners to expand the reach of two programs, Bingocize and Building Better Caregivers.
The University of New England’s AgingME: Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program awarded Healthy Living for ME the grant to fund the program expansion.
“This award is an exciting opportunity to bring two important workshops to all regions of Maine. It is also a recognition of the work our partners have already been doing to provide falls prevention and caregiver education to communities,” said Maija Dyke, contract and business manager of Healthy Living for ME, according to a news release from the statewide network. “Both Building Better Caregivers and Bingocize address important health and wellness issues for Mainers.”
Building Better Caregivers allows people to learn and receive support from others going through similar caregiving experiences. It is an interactive, six-session workshop that helps caregivers of all types (family, formal, informal, etc.) who are assisting loved ones through memory loss or dementia, as well as those providing care to individuals with acquired brain injury or post traumatic stress disorder.
Participants can learn techniques such as how to identify and deal with their care partners’ triggers around behaviors and how to track this information in a behavior diary. Other topics covered during the workshop include managing caregiver stress, making decisions and planning for the future, communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals, legal issues related to caregiving, and hiring help.
Bingocize promotes healthy aging using a game-centered approach. A 10-week, evidence-based program, Bingocize combines Bingo, exercise, and knowledge to prevent falls and improve quality of life among older adults and those at risk of falling. The interactive program has been shown to benefit participants by improving walking speed, flexibility, strength, and agility, in addition to improving blood pressure.
The health education curriculum of Bingocize covers topics such as nutrition, physical activity, stress management, reduction of fall risk, and medication health.
Building Better Caregivers and Bingocize may be offered in either an in-person or a virtual format depending on the host organization. For more information about individual workshops as they are scheduled, or to register, visit healthylivingforme.org, email [email protected], or call 800-620-6036.
Healthy Living for ME also welcomes referrals from healthcare providers. Its evidence-based programming can help patients manage and prevent conditions before they become more serious or result in emergency situations.