Posted by Kathy Burnes, Project Manager, Geriatric Institute

seniors walkingJF&CS is excited to be a recipient of a two-year grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation (THPF) for Steps for Life, a newly launched health and wellness campaign targeting 500 ethnically diverse, low-income elders in senior and intergenerational housing in Malden, Brookline, and Framingham, MA. JF&CS is partnering with JFS Metrowest, which will be implementing the program in Framingham.

Steps for Life links directly to THPF's Vibrant Lifestyles work of promoting social engagement and better health. The project connects residents within and across sites to develop their own goals, activities, and motivational strategies to boost physical activity and social connection. Residents track their participation in activities (e.g. line dancing, exercise, nutrition education, laundry, mail pickup, current events), each of which credits them with measured progress toward individual and group goals. Monthly blood pressure and BMI clinics, staffed by healthcare professionals, allow residents to chart progress and earn "steps."

This project is part of the JF&CS Aging Well at Home program which, for the past six years, has provided cost effective, community-level approaches to supporting the ability of older residents to age successfully in their home environments. Aging Well at Home has become a gateway to improved quality of life, particularly for those who are at risk for hospitalization and institutionalization. Lillian Stranger, a Brookline resident featured in a Boston Globe article, best articulated the impact of Aging Well at Home when she said, "I like knowing I'm in charge of my life, but it's wonderful having a support system…I feel cared for."

Read more from the Waltham Daily News Tribune.