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SEARHC offers free WELL-Balanced class in Sitka

Posted: August 29, 2011 - 7:24pm

The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Health Promotion department is hosting a new program, WELL-Balanced, which helps Native elders improve their qualities of life and remain independent.

Wise Elders Living Longer (WELL-Balanced) will be offered from 2-3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Monastery Street Apartments meeting room, 414 Hollywood Way, in Sitka. The classes start Sept. 6. This is for Native elders who want to reduce their risk of falling and find ways to remain independent.

Renae Mathson and Jennifer Young will lead the 16 sessions over eight weeks. Participants will have some fun, increase their level of exercise, improve their physical strength, and gain confidence about managing the risk of falling. Tools to help manage diabetes, arthritis and hypertension also are included.

Falling is the most common and serious risk facing Native elders. The fear of falling can cause elders to limit their activity, which can lead to a decline in health and the loss of independence. WELL-Balanced is specifically designed to help elders reduce their risk of falling. Participants will receive a fall risk screening and learn ways to reduce their chance of falling.

WELL-Balanced was created by the National Resource Center on Native American Aging at the University of North Dakota. More than 300 Native tribes worked with the center to complete community assessments of health status, chronic disease, functional limitation, access to health care, risk factors, home/community based services, housing and social interaction. WELL-Balanced was created to address problems identified in these community assessments.

To sign up for WELL-Balanced, or to get more information, contact Renae Mathson at 907-966-8797 or email or Jennifer Young at 907-966-8866 or email

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