The Rapidian

Looking for Organizations and Volunteers!

Looking for volunteers to help lead healthy aging classes throughout West Michigan.
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Are you a good communicator? Do you have a passion for older adults? The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan needs you!  Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is looking for volunteer leaders for two healthy aging programs throughout West Michigan. Each program is designed specifically for older adults and is fun and engaging with proven results.  A Matter of Balance focuses on fall prevention while Healthy Eating targets nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes.

Trainings are complimentary and will be held in July and August. There are still spaces available, but they are filling up fast.  If you have a passion for older adults, read more to find out if this is the right volunteer opportunity for you! If you represent a community-based group that works with older adults, read more to find out how you can offer these classes to the seniors you serve!

 

A Matter of Balance:

A Matter of Balance is designed to reduce a fear of falling and increase physical activity levels. Often when individuals are afraid that they will fall, they stop being active which actually puts them at a greater risk for falls because their muscles and joints are stiff and have become weak. Each Matter of Balance sessions includes eight classes. The two hour interactive class includes group discussion, problem solving, videos and gentle physical exercise.

Who Would Make a Good A Matter of Balance Coach?

A great A Matter of Balance coach must have good communication and interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, dependability and a willingness to lead a small group of older adults. They also need to be able to lead low to moderate exercise (the exercises used are taught to coaches during training). Volunteers do not need to be healthcare professionals; in fact lay leaders are preferred for this program.

 

Healthy Eating:

Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults (Healthy Eating) is a program for older adults who want to learn more about how nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle changes can lead to better health. Healthy Eating sessions include six classes.  The classes last two and a half hours and are very hands-on. Seniors learn to improve or maintain their wellness, with focus on the USDA MyPlate food guide. Also included is how to read labels, grocery shop and cook together to prepare nutritious meals that focus on heart and bone health. 

Who Would Make a Good Healthy Eating Coach?

A great Healthy Eating coach must have good communication and interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, dependability and a willingness to lead a small group of older adults. A Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist is utilized as a resource to answer specific questions (as needed) so volunteers do not need to hold those credentials themselves.  

 

Training Information:

Think this is the right volunteer opportunity for you? All interested individuals (and organizations) must register for participation in the complimentary trainings. The Matter of Balance training will take place July 29-30 and the Healthy Eating training will be August 13-14. Both will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)

 

How to Register:

If you think you, or your organization, would be a good fit for A Matter of Balance or Healthy Eating, contact Barbara Nelson-Jandernoa at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 222-7011 or [email protected] or find out more about the programs by visiting http://www.aaawm.org/healthy_aging

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