The BHHS Legacy Foundation has awarded a $60,000 grant to the Sun Health Center for Health & Wellbeing to provide health education scholarships to seniors living on fixed incomes who meet scholarship criteria.
The scholarships will cover education programs that address chronic health issues including diabetes, pre-diabetes, weight management and falls.
Nationwide, about half of adults have at least one health chronic condition, and 1 in 4 has two or more conditions, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases with about 22 million people across the nation diagnosed with it, and even more Americans are suspected of having pre-diabetes. Being overweight is a well-documented contributor to chronic diseases, and 2.5 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year.
“With the large population of adults 65 and older in the West Valley, we are seeing these same health issues,” says Jennifer Drago, executive vice president of Population Health for Sun Health. “Research has shown that many chronic diseases can be prevented or managed more effectively by educating people how to eat better, exercise more, reduce their stress and take other actions to improve their health,” Drago says. “These scholarships will allow us to teach more seniors how to take better care of their own health.”
Seniors must apply for the scholarships, which are awarded based on need. For more information, call 623-832-WELL (9355).
The scholarships will cover four separate programs.
• Diabetes Self-Management Education/Training (DSME) Program, accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, is a 10-hour program that teaches individuals how to manage their diabetes through good nutrition, physical activity, self-monitoring, medication management, and by reducing risks and preventing complications.
• The 12-week Diabetes Prevention Program uses evidence-based practices to assist those with pre-diabetes to prevent or delay the onset of type-2 diabetes. The program focus is on good nutrition, increased physical activity and other lifestyle changes.
• “Weigh” To Go! is a 12-week series designed to help individuals safely lose weight through healthy eating, increased activity and using tools designed for successful behavior change.
• The Balance and Strength Training program features eight hours of fitness instruction in a small group. Participants work on improving balance, lower-body strength, core strength and flexibility. Exercises are customized to participants’ abilities. Fall-prevention information and a home exercise plan are included.
All programs are taught by health professionals including two registered dietitian nutritionists who also are certified diabetes educators and an exercise physiologist/health coach.