- Written by Gillian Smith
- Published: 20 August 2014
The Duxbury Senior Center has been selected as one of five senior centers across the nation to spearhead development of an aging mastery program for older adults.
The Senior Center wrapped the first official program of the Aging Mastery Program (AMP) last month. The program is designed to empower older adults to make informed decisions that improve and positively impact their lifestyles.
AMP combines goal-setting, daily practices and peer support to help participants make positive and meaningful changes in their lives. The program encourages aging mastery, which is defined as “developing sustainable behaviors across many dimensions that will lead to improved health, stronger financial security, enhanced well-being and increased connectedness to communities.” The goal of the program is to develop, test and lay the groundwork for a successful program that can be made available in communities across the country.
Last year, Joanne Moore, director of the Duxbury Senior Center, presented the program to the Massachusetts Council on Aging. After the presentation, many senior centers across the state expressed an interest in implementing the Aging Mastery program and the Duxbury Senior Center was able to officially implement the program in February. With the success of the program in Duxbury, nine new sites will roll out the programs this fall.
“What we did was compile boxes full of all of the materials that you need in order to run the program,” Moore said. “There’s no way to recruit people, find sponsors and speakers in a week, so these boxes have all of that information all set to go.”
While the Duxbury Senior Center is currently acting as a “fulfillment center” — that is, where all of the materials are put together and handed out to new sites — Moore is hopeful that the National Council on Aging will eventually take over as the fulfillment center and simply use the boxes that were compiled by the Duxbury Senior Center.
Angela Sinnott, program coordinator, said eight sites were able to complete their first program this past spring using Duxbury’s materials, while Duxbury participants completed their second program. She and Moore are now in the process of reviewing another 10 senior centers for the program to roll out the program in September. Duxbury will act as the fulfillment center for those sites and will roll out another program in the spring.
Now that the Duxbury Senior Center has completed the first module in the program, it can roll out the financial mastery program, which is a three-class program that will roll out in November. Eventually, the Senior Center will be able to roll out phase three, which is life enrichment.
“The National Council on Aging calls us the ‘Superstar Site,’” Moore said. “They are very excited for us to roll out the next programs.”
Sinnott said it is very exciting to be at the forefront of the program and to have the ability to do some curriculum work to continue improving the program
“When our participants finish their 16-week program, they want more,” she said. “So it’s really exciting to be able to tell them they are going to get more.”
The Senior Center received a $10,000 grant, plus an additional $2,500 to be used as incentives for pro- gram participants. Other participants include the Mill Race Center in Columbus, Indiana; Low Country Senior Center in Charleston, South Carolina; Center in the Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Newington Senior and Disabled Center in Newington, Connecticut
Sinnott said participants in the AMP program have continued getting together and enriching their lives. She said it is the hope of the Senior Center and the Council on Aging to instill everyday mindsets that will help participants continue leading a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s lifelong aging mastery,” Sinnott said. “So they will be able to keep on keeping on.”