Harvard Pilgrim Grant Helps Elder Services Expand Anti-Fall, Caregiver Programs

Joan Hatem Roy, chief executive officer of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, during a WHAV Open Mic Show appearance. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley recently received a $223,000 grant to expand training through its Healthy Living Center of Excellence aimed at preventing and managing falls and providing caregiver support.

Coming from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the grant supports “Savvy Caregiver” and “Matter of Balance” trainings and workshops. The grant is renewable for a second year and includes workshop implementation, technical assistance and collaboration with health care partners.

“In the first year of this grant, we expect to train 40 Master Trainers, who in turn will train community-based coaches to implement workshops for close to 750 program participants,” says Jennifer Raymond, chief strategy officer and director of the Healthy Living Center of Excellence.

A Matter of Balance program is a community based, small group program that helps older adults reduce their fear of falling and increase activity levels. Coaches work in pairs to lead small group community classes which consist of eight two-hour sessions. The Savvy Caregiver program is designed to train family caregivers in the basic knowledge and skills needed to handle the challenges of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.

“As a direct result of the support of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, Savvy Caregiver and Matter of Balance trainings will expand into New Hampshire, Maine and on the Cape, where family caregivers and older adults will now have improved access to free resources in their community,” said Joan Hatem Roy, Chief Executive Officer of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley.

Delivery partners include area agencies on aging, senior centers, YMCAs, faith-based organizations, housing sites and other community partners.

Comments are closed.