The Erie County Department of Health in Pennsylvania is launching the “Active ELDERS” program in partnership with UPMC, a large regional health system and the television station WQLN, a local affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The one-hour Active ELDERS show features six physical activity videos demonstrating daily stretches and low impact movements in seated and standing positions. Also highlighted are mental wellness techniques that seniors can use to work through difficult feelings of loneliness, fear, anxiety, and sadness. The program will be televised by WQLN from January 7, through February 21, 2021.
The county is using the Active ELDERS program as part its campaign to prevent falls among older adults, and to mitigate social isolation among older adults. “When the pandemic arrived in Erie County and we were compelled to cancel in-person instruction, we decided to meet seniors where they are – at home,” said Nicole Bolash, health promotion director at the Erie County Department of Health. “Reallocating resources from the Safe and Healthy Communities grant allows us to continue our falls prevention campaign while educating seniors during this second wave of isolation.” The county is encouraging provider organizations serving older adults to air the videos on in-house monitors for consumers.
The Active ELDERS program was developed by UPMC. “When practiced on a regular basis, the movements we show in the videos work to increase balance, flexibility and strength,” said Neurological Physical Therapist Dr. Mary Kingston of UPMC Centers for Rehab Services. “This builds a person’s resilience and decreases his or her chance of experiencing an unintentional fall.”
The “Active ELDERS” show airdates and times are posted at https://www.wqln.org/Watch/Active-Elders (accessed January 11, 2021).
To access the Active ELDERS physical activity videos and audio-recorded relaxation exercises, visit https://bit.ly/ActiveElders (accessed January 11, 2021).
This was reported by the Erie County Department of Health on December 28, 2020.